In the days of the pay telephone-that’s the one where you had to put money in to make a call-one might have said, “here’s a dime, call someone who cares.”
The fact is, the cell phone company doesn’t like you. Nor does the internet provider or the cable guy.
General Motors, Samsung. The big box retailers. None of them really care about you.
In fact, they will take advantage of you, your desires, fears and economic condition.
And when something goes wrong, you just get stuck in an endless phone loop.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) which monitors consumer complaints, lists “Telecommunications” to include; cell phones and service, internet service providers and satellite/cable television, as Number 3 on their list of Top Ten Complaints in 2016. https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Homepage.aspx
The usual nemesis, “Motor Vehicle Sales (Used and New)” has moved down from the 4 spot (or up on the scale of respectability) to Number 8.
The Number 1 complaint in Wisconsin? Telemarketers, of course.
Except for those dirty rotten scoundrels (telemarketers) who it seems don’t care about anyone or anything, corporations big and little do care about numbers.
You are a number. A sale. A statistic. A component of their profit algorithm.
Upset their apple cart and they really start to listen.
The key to getting what you paid for, what you deserve in the way of service, what satisfaction you expect in exchange for your hard-earned money and time is to go right to the top, if that’s what it takes.
Sales people, “associates” those on the bottom rung of retail sales and service really don’t have much pull when it comes to making sure you get what you paid for.
They give lip service. They’ll smile and claim to be sorry but really they are the first line of defense for the company.
You need to go up the ladder.
10 Ways to get the company to notice you.
- Keep all documents. Receipts, warranties, owner’s manuals, sales flyers and the box. Keep a file, a really big envelope or shoe box and keep everything inside and handy. Understand that “they” will have records of all phone calls and correspondence too.
- Realize that this will not come easy. Perseverance is key. They expect you to quit. Then they win.
- Document everything. Develop a time line. When the purchase was made, when it broke and what you did to attempt a resolution. Write everything down. Date and time, with whom you spoke, their position and what was said. If it is not written down-it didn’t happen. Keep all original documents. Provide only copies for the company representatives.
- Remain calm but assertive throughout the process. It might feel good to vent frustration but rarely does it help to solve the problem. It could help to fuel the other side’s determination. Your goal is to win.
- Do not take “No” for an answer. Use phrases such as: ” I understand that you can’t help me but realize that it’s not acceptable. Do you have a supervisor I can talk to?”
- Have each person you contact spell their full name for you and state their title. This lets them know you have their personal information and implies that you will use it as you go up the corporate ladder.
- Use it as you go up the corporate ladder.
- Emails and phone calls are OK at the store and regional levels but when you get on the corporate step, a written (typed) letter is preferred. Someone needs to physically open that envelope and read it. It becomes more difficult to delete or dump into the spam folder.
- Most, if not all companies these days have a website that lists owners, officers and their contact information. If not, you can refer to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for corporate officers and addresses.
- As you tell and re-tell your story, take note of one person who listens and seems to care more than the others. He/she will become your ally. Refer back to them for help if you get stuck along the way.
Corporations may not like you but they do respect your buying power, your friends’ buying power and the image they project to the public.
Use this as leverage, stay in control and be persistent. You will get results.
If that doesn’t work, take the damn thing to the store parking lot and smash it with a big hammer during rush hour.
At least it’ll feel good while you wait to be arrested.