You’re mad, you’re annoyed, or you’ve been ripped off. So you decide to take action, and open up your word processor or e-mail client to write a complaint letter. But that doesn’t mean you actually want anyone to take you seriously, or to help you. Follow these tips to make sure your complaint goes nowhere near anyone in power.
- Make your letter as long as possible.
Cram every little bit of detail you can in there. Mention every interaction you have had with this company since your birth, or possibly your conception. Tell random, vaguely related stories about your career path.
- Tell your entire life story.
Your education and career path up to this very moment? Relevant. The details of your relationship to the person who helped you pick out the product you are writing about? How could company representatives possibly understand without knowing that? Remember, the more you write about yourself, the more they’re sure to like you.
- Don’t even try to write professionally.
You’re just a regular Joe or Josephine with a job, a family, and bills to pay. You’re no speechwriter or lawyer. Remind people of that through your careful use of language. This can be accomplished with liberal use of the caps lock key, brightly colored text, salty language, and punctuation marks for emphasis.
You can also emphasize your youth and the value of your future loyalty to a company through the use of up-to-the-minute slang and Internet or SMS abbreviations. For example, whenever possible, begin sentences with “idk” and complete them with “lol.”
- Berate the company and its employees.
We’re not talking minor-league stuff like calmly recounting problems you have encountered with front-line customer service reps, or politely suggesting ways that a company can make up to you after you’ve been wronged. No, if you want your letter to be ignored, just go all out and vent. This is a good opportunity to use your most colorful language (see #3.) Here’s a great example: an excerpt from an actual that e-mail a Consumerist reader sent to their ISP:
I AM NOT CLEARING MY GOD DAMNED COOKIES, CAUSING ME TO LOSE INFORMATION I WANT, AND I HAVE SAVED, AND THAT WILL NOT RESOLVE THE PROBLEM YOU STUPID FUCKING UNEDUCATED IGNORANT FUCKING MORONS HAVE CREATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND I RAN YOUR USELESS, “FLUSH DNS, ASSHOLE, AND IU REBOOTED THE FUCKING MODEM AND ROUTER. AND IT DIDN’T FUCKING WORK!!!!!! WHY, BECAUSE YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE FUCK YOU ARE DOING ASSHOLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND I AM NOT CHANGING DNS EITHER., FIX YOUR GOD DAMNED PROBLEM JERKOFF. HIRE SOMEONE THERE WITH A FUCKING BRAIN, WHO KNOWS WHAT THE FUCK THEY ARE DOING, AND FIX IT!!!!!!!!!!! STUPID FUCKING ASSHOLE. JESUS CHRIST YOU ARE A DUMB FUCK.
- Show off your poetic side.
sometimes there are problems…
important enough that they make you sad
and you can only express yourself
through free-verse poetry.
it’s okay to be that sad. if you are even too sad to use the shift key
that will get your point across.
- Don’t ever get to the point.
Take five hundred words to get the concept of “my laptop screen is broken” across. Who cares? You don’t want anyone to read it.
- Make unreasonable demands.
If the resolution you suggest is outlandish and completely out of line with your original problem, what’s the worst the company could do? Ignore your letter? Exactly.
- Don’t bother with the normal channels.
Go straight to an EECB or call the CEO’s office without bothering to go through any of the regular customer service channels first. Show the company that they shouldn’t take you seriously by not taking their time and procedures seriously.
If, for some crazy reason, you want to write a complaint that companies will notice, I guess you could try reading the advice in these posts: