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May 24, 2007

Buyers Remorse Over A Crappy Product?

Techdirt had a good piece earlier this month on how the web is turning everyone into a potential critic and how it can either be a "boon or burden" to companies. It's shocking there are still some companies that don't get this. Personally, I haven't ran into a company that hasn't in years.

Whenever I feel like I've been wronged by a company's service or bought a product that didn't fully live up to my expectations, and I can't return it, I always contact the company through their normal customer service and support channels first. If I don't get any satisfactory results I then escalate my problem to the company's president.

Anyone can do this but be sure to follow these tips:

  • Don't call the president's office even if you're able to find their telephone number. Instead, write him/her by email or snail mail. Depending on the situation it sometimes helps to send it overnight by FedEx and it is more likely to be opened that day and acted on quickly.
  • Don't expect to receive a personal response from the president of the company but you will typically receive a quick response from their executive assistant or a manager within a week.
  • When dealing with companies it's important you don't ask for unreasonable things. Asking to return the product for replacement or repair is always ok. In some cases asking for a refund is reasonable. But, asking to be refunded and still keep the product is not reasonable.
  • I always request they pay for the shipping to send the defective product back to them. If it requires packing materials I request they send them to me. Some companies will outright offer to let you keep the product if you make this request or they simply won't bother to ever send the shipping materials and issue a "call tag" for it, so you essentially get to keep it and they still send you a replacement or refund.
  • Be polite and professional, never abusive or deceptive. Don't exaggerate your problems or make any threats. You need to explain in quick, easy to understand terms, exactly what is wrong and what will make you satisfied.
  • Threatening to never buy anything from them again, threatening to sue, or saying, "I'll tell my friends" doesn't help at all! But always mention that you take the time to review products you purchase on your blog and that you are planning to detail your experience with the company and the product. Include a link to your blog in your signature. Of course, it's helpful to have actually reviewed products and better yet, have a category full of them.
  • Don't abuse companies by wasting their time with trivial things, just to get something for free, or your money back if there isn't a legitimate issue. You'll just ruin it for others that have legtitimate problems and you won't get anywhere anyway.
  • Once everything has been resolved don't forget to review the product and post your experiences. Again, be completely honest and detail your full experience. Sometimes it's helpful to post a review before contacting the company and add updates that include your experiences with their customer service. I typically like to give the company a few chance to make things right before writing a nasty review.

Posted in Random Thought by usrbingeek at 2007-05-24 01:37 ET (GMT-5) | 0 Comments | Permalink


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