Long story short, the sales woman did not believe my mother and flat-out refused to help her. She insisted the phone was, in fact, charging with the existing charger (even though the phone showed a near-empty battery symbol). My mom asked to speak to a manager, who helped her right away. Turns out my mom was right: The charger was broken, and a new one was issued promptly.
But along the way, a simple problem that should have taken 2 minutes to resolve took far more time -- and way more stress. No wonder consumers are fed up with bad customer service. Consumer Reports recently surveyed readers about their customer service experiences and found 64% said they'd walked out of a store because of poor service in the past year. And when it comes to dealing with customer service over the phone, more women are frustrated than men.
Here's some advice for getting your way after a customer service kerfuffle:
1. Ask the Manager for 'Advice'
Managers have more authority to help. If you feel slighted or poorly served -- whether in a store, restaurant or hotel, or over the phone with customer service -- ask to speak to a manager. Remain calm, explain the situation (briefly) and have some sense of how you'd like it to be resolved. Or try this question, which worked well for me recently (when a home furnishing store fell asleep on the job and forgot to ship my order and missed its delivery date): "What would you do if you were me?" That always seems to do the trick: Asking the manager for his/her advice, to level with you and understand your frustration in a way that doesn't involve you losing your cool. For me, it quickly earned me reimbursed shipping costs.
2. Tweet Your Frustrations
Twitter is a hit-or-miss weapon against poor customer service, but it's always worth a try. As Consumer Reports says, "Companies monitor sites to see what is being said about them." You never know: your 140-character complaint could incite a speedy remedy from Corporate -- especially if you have a ton of followers. Best to keep your complaint clean and to the point, and be sure to incorporate the merchant's Twitter handle. For example: "Awful service tonight @ChezJacquesNYC Not sure I'd go back!" might grab the attention of someone in PR -- or even the owner, Jacques, himself.
- Back to School Shopping: 5 Things NOT To Buy
- Best Things to Buy in July
- Credit Report Update: Who's Tracking Your Financial Data Now?
- New Bank Rules: Free Credit Scores with Loan Denials
- Bad Credit? 7 Ways for Renters to Get Approved
- Shoppers Shifting to Private Label Brands
- Extreme Couponing: 5 Reasons to Steer Clear
- Spend Less Money: 3 New Behavioral Tricks
- Best Day of the Week for Grocery Shopping