Saturday, September 22, 2007

Getting Less Than You Asked For And Letting Them Know About It

Yesterday, I drove 2 hours to pick up my car and pay the nice woman who sold it to me. It was a bit touch and go because I had to make up the difference between the amount in the account and the amount the insurance check was for, but with a little creativity I did it. Monday I will have to do a bit of running around to fix this mess, but at least I have transportation to do it.

This morning I took it for its VIN inspection and to pass DEQ. I had to do this because the car came from out of state and its required to get it registered in my state. After it passed with flying colors, I decided to treat myself and have it cleaned with a mini-detail. I'd gone to the company before and I thought they did a great job, but this time I was incredibly disappointed. They didn't vacuum the back, they left trash in the car, and missed cleaning a large section of the lower panel. That's just the start of the list.

I should have inspected it before I left, but I was in a hurry. As the day continued and I completed all of my errands, I began to look at it closer. I started beating myself up for wasting the money and not doing it myself. Then I decided to get smart.

I sat down to write a letter to the company. After all, I have been an excellent marketing tool for them because I've recommended their services to a lot of people. If those people received the same service that I did today, then the company has not only created a bad reputation for themselves, but they have also affected my reputation to those I referred to them.

Writing a good complaint letter takes some patience and diplomacy. You want to give the company an opportunity to correct their mistakes. The letter should be well written, avoiding all of those snappy, sarcastic insults you've been practicing in your head before you sat down to write it. You want to explain to the company the services you paid for and the agreed cost of the service. Describe the problems and items that were not completed to satisfaction, including pictures if possible. Let them know how long you've been a customer and if you've had any past experiences with them. You may choose to let them know what you would like to see happen to rectify the situation, but you may also give them the opportunity to offer a solution. Just remember to be realistic. Finally, make sure you give them contact information including address and phone number. They will need to respond to your letter.

Remember that companies are interested in keeping customers happy and a good company will be eager to fix any problems.

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