September 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts September 2003 Current Issue
August 2002

How to Complain Effectively

image The next time poor service or a malfunctioning product gets you fired up, why not file a constructive complaint? You’ll feel better and you’re likely to get some compensation for your troubles. Consider these tips from the Better Business Bureau (

AVOID NAME-CALLING. Referring to the person on the other end of the consumer complaint line as a “jerk” or the like will jeopardize any chance of getting your message heard.

WRITE IT DOWN. If you prefer to complain in print, draft a letter that briefly and concisely describes your gripe, and address it to a specific person or department. Be sure to include your return address and phone number. And keep a copy for yourself.

GIVE DETAILS. Be as specific as possible. If the complaint is about a product, state where and when it was purchased and provide serial numbers, if applicable. If complaining about poor service, having the person’s name is helpful.

SUGGEST A SOLUTION. Do you want your money back, a product exchanged or simply an apology? Always state what will resolve the complaint to your satisfaction.


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