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4 steps to a productive company complaint


by Esther Leonard

Many of us have felt wronged by a company. From over charges on electric bill to bad phone service, companies can get away with some shady stuff.  But you don’t have to take it lying down!  You can keep companies accountable by voicing your complaints.

At CUB, we’ve become experts in turning complaints into results.  Here are 4 easy steps to follow:

  1. Complain

Seems simple, doesn’t it?  You would think that people would do this but many never even call companies about issues. But unwillingness to complain can leave you at a serious financial disadvantage.

“Negotiating for a fair price or complain about a charge doesn’t have to mean conflict,” economist Lisa Babcock says.  Instead, complaining gives both consumers and companies the opportunity to find a beneficial solution.

  1. Contact the company directly

Before involving your lawyer, try to resolve the issue with the company first.  According to a survey, most consumers have a good chance of resolving their issues with just a quick call.

Here at CUB, we know that quick and easy isn’t always the case. Always be polite but persistent. Threaten to take your business elsewhere and if they agree to fix your problem, be sure to make several rounds of follow ups. If you still aren’t getting any results with a customer service representative, call, write and email a person higher up in the chain like the supervisor or even the chief executive.

“You’d be surprised how often it works, especially when you copy members of the local media on the letter,” author and editor Jon Yates says.

  1. Contact your consumer watchdog

Sometimes you need an advocate like CUB or a government agency to put pressure on a company to resolve the issue. In most cases, these agencies can either help solve your issue or direct you to the right place.

Many of these complaints are listed publically and provide a great resource for consumers on whether or not to buy service from a company.

Check out some of the stories about how CUB has helped consumers save money or improve utility service over the years.  If you think you need to lodge a consumer complaint, call one of CUB’s consumer advocates at 1-800-669-5556.

  1. Tweet about it

Share your complaint with the public. Companies work around the clock to keep up their company image by paying attention to what’s being said about them on the internet. Negative tweets about a company can be retweeted by millions and companies are quick to respond to customer complaints in a public arena.

Besides Twitter, use other social media outlets to voice your dissatisfaction: blog posts, websites, Facebook pages and YouTube.

Keep in mind that when going to the public, always remain polite and truthful and avoid sharing personal information.

If you want to share advice about getting a complaint resolved, comment below!