The art of properly, tactfully lodging business complaints

COLUMBUS, Ga- Have you ever thought about the best way to complain to a business when you’re unhappy with a product or service?  So often, people go in with their tempers boiling.   Instead of any resolution, what they often find is a new argument, one that has nothing to do with the issue that prompted their original unhappiness.  News 3 is “On Your Side” with tips on how to effectively complain.

“It turns the business manager off. They draw a line in the sand,” says Kelvin Collins, interim president and CEO of the Columbus Better Business Bureau office.

Collins says the worst thing a disgruntled customer can do is act angry.

“Don’t go into a business and start screaming, cussing, and blessing out the manager and employees in front of other customers. That’s the quickest way to get someone not to help you,” says Collins.

The first thing to do is calmly explain your problem and what you would like in terms of resolution.  Once you have done that, give the business time to act.

“Don’t let all your friends on Facebook or your followers on Twitter know your issue before you talk to the company and give them an opportunity to resolve your issue,” says Collins.

If, once you’ve kept it professional, you feel you’ve done all you can to negotiate a resolution and still are not happy, you still have hope.

“That’s when you go to places like the Better Business Bureau, and you file a complaint through us. We work as a mutual third party and try to bring the two parties together,” Collins says.

Collins adds if you are in the middle of trying to resolve an issue with a company, document every interaction with that company as you go.  Write down the representatives to whom you speak, their names, the details of the conversations, and times and dates of the conversations.  Also, if a company makes you a verbal promise, follow it up in written form—with an email or letter.

Remember, before you ever make a deal with a business, ask plenty of questions.  Be sure you understand the terms of any contracts before you sign them.

When you are trying to negotiate a resolution with a business, try to step back and put yourself in the business owner’s shoes.  Think about what you would feel, as the business owner, would be a fair resolution.

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