I don’t typically call myself a complainer. In fact, I probably let things go instead of speaking up. Maybe it’s this blog challenge or a general shift in not tolerant non-sense. Below are three examples of how I acknowledged dissatisfaction and the outcome.
1) My Phone Bill – I always had a feeling I was overpaying, but didn’t want to have to sit on the phone for an hour trying to threaten and negotiate them down. Instead I used a new App – Hiatus. You upload your bank and credit card information and they search for your subscriptions. If something looks out of whack, they negotiate it down on your behalf. The catch – whatever they save you they charge you 50% of. After 5 days of them negotiating, my bill is now $20 a month cheaper.
2) My Dental Visit Bill – If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen my less than stellar visit to a local dentist of a cleaning. I’m not naming names as we are currently in discussions. After being surprised with two insane charges for a basic cleaning, I decided to email the owner and provided 7 points of improvement for their facility. Sure, I could’ve paid the bill and walked away, but I felt the need for explanation. Who knows I may get a write down on the bill.
3) 1800-Flowers – Last week I ordered an arrangement for a colleague as she works remotely and wasn’t able to take part in a celebratory happy hour. After checking in throughout the day, it was clear the arrangement wasn’t going to arrive as promised. As soon as I realized this, I emailed them. They gave me a $20 credit for a future order. I wasn’t satisfied and let them know my disappointment. As a result, I received a 50% refund on the order in addition to the $20 credit.
This is my PSA for all of you out there to speak up for what you want. This isn’t meant to be malicious or hurtful to business owners, but if you feel mistreated or unfairly charged, speak up. You’d be surprised how many businesses don’t know why customers leave or are unhappy. You could actually be helping them out.
Key things when reaching out:
1) Be clear about what went wrong. The more matter of fact the better.
2) Take the emotion out of it. As soon as you get on the ranty train, your point gets lost in Complainerville.
3) Be clear about what you need. If it’s a credit, reduction, etc, ask for what you need.
4) Be prepared to walk away. If the business isn’t receptive to your needs, you don’t have to use them. At that point, I would suggest letting your network know about your experience.