Complain To Win: 7 Stages Of Escalation

Your expectations were not met. Now you want them to fix the product, redo the service, or give you a credit. Here’s seven general stages of complaint escalation to follow.

1. Ladle on the honey.
Contact Customer Service and ask for what you want really nicely.

2. Focus on fixers.
Hone in on solutions to the problem, not how bad it makes you feel.

3. Cut to the chase.
Say, ‘I expect you or your manager to take ownership of this right now. I’m not going to be put on hold.”

4. Enlist a referee.
Volunteer mediators at places like Call For Action are like have an extra teammate. If your city supports it, 311 is a good place to start.

5. Bring in the big guns.
Complaint to the relevant licensing bureaus or the States Attorney.

6. Plead your own case.
Take it to small claims court.

7. File a civil lawsuit.
Find a lawyer versed in your type of case. Visit FindLegalHelp.org.

— BEN POPKEN

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