Ron Burley, the man behind “Unscrewed: The Consumersï¿½ Guide to Getting What You Paid For,” has published two articles on how to effectively deal with customer service reps. On the Do Not Want side, you shouldn’t threaten legal action, because it will likely shut down any further communication as the company goes into automatic CYA mode. (You don’t want to tip your hand about any legal action anyway.) What you should say is “Thank you,” because being nice might help you stand out among the parade of complainers.
Some of the tactics we recommend to consumers battling large and/or indifferent business are faster rather than nicer, and with good reason.
If you have a legitimate grievance with a company that they’re not helping you solve, here are 15 hand-picked articles of ours that will be your blueprint to kicking ass. They’re arranged in 3 escalating tiers, depending on how far you want-to/have-to take it. If you’re ready to stop getting mad and start getting results, check out the posts inside…
Me: [Laugh] Thanks. Anyway, here’s what’s going on with me today…
Consumer advocate Ron Burley describes the reasons the state of customer service is in such disrepair, and the basic gist on how consumers can get what they paid for when things go wrong.
I’m continuing to read Unscrewed, and in this paragraph, author Ron Burley distills the basic premise behind forcing companies that have wronged you to give you what is due:
…one simple principle I have discovered that was extraordinarily effective in getting a fair resolution to a consumer problem: companies will act only in a manner that will benefit the bottom line. In other words, to get what you deserve, you must convince your opponent that helping you will be to his or her advantage.
Do the right thing? Corporate citizenship? Ethics? Plain ol’ fairnes? These words and phrases mean little to many big companies for whom churn, the rate at which customers leave and take business elsewhere, is a basic part of their business model. But they do understand the simple equation of incurring the least costs. Make the company realize that it will cost more to ignore you than to help you and soon you may find the tables turning in your favor.