“Praise with faint damn” is the underlying secret to how professional complaint letter writer Bruce Silverman is able to be so successful in getting companies to give him free stuff. First class upgrades, Room upgrades with views of frolicking whales, Checks for hundreds of dollars… all these and more are the fruits of Bruce’s calculated typewriter clacking. Now Bruce has come out with a small book with a big promise: to teach you How To Complaint For Fun And Profit. Here’s a chapter from it, exclusively on The Consumerist, detailing how he was able to turn a disappointing experience at the Ritz-Carlton in Hawaii into a long-term stream of room upgrades, comped meals, and decidedly above and beyond customer service…
A lot of our posts about writing complaint letters has focused on sticking to the facts, and getting your story to the right people. I like that Bruce takes this one step further and shows how throwing in a little creative writing can increase your chances at success. It’s really just an artful way of demonstrating the basic principle of “it will cost more to ignore me than to take care of my problem.” You demonstrate that you’re a committed customer with long-term value who has spent money before and will continue to spend money, as long as your grievance can be addressed. I wonder, however, how well the tactics will work against industries that like to play hardball with customer service, like banks, cellphones, and insurance.
You can get a digital PDF version of Bruce’s book for $19.99 here.
Another free chapter, “Living in a Sitcom,” involving a complaint letter written after sitting next to a really big guy on an airplane that spilled into Bruce’s site, is available here.
Complain For Fun And Profit [Official Site]