Should You Bother Writing a Customer Complaint Letter?
Did you ever order something online or buy a product in a store only to get it home and find it was not all it was advertised to be? Did the product work only a few times before it broke? Was your child ever disappointed after saving her money to buy something targeted at her only to have it not live up to the hype?
If any of these situations ever happened to you, what did you do about it? Did you grumble about how things are not made the way they used to be, or did you write a customer complaint letter to the company?
Many people are under the impression that it is a waste of time to contact a business about a bad product or a poor experience. Some of the reasons they do not write a business customer complaint letter are:
- The item only cost a few dollars. It’s no big deal. My time is worth more.
- I just won’t go to that restaurant ever again. And I’ll make sure to tell my friends the same.
- What’s the point of writing a customer complaint letter? They won’t do anything about it. I have better things to do with my time.
I do not make a habit of doing this, but I have written businesses letters of complaint when I have felt it was necessary. I work hard for my money, and when I decide to buy something, it had better deliver.
And if the product I buy is for my children, and it disappoints, Mama Bear is going to let you know it.
Here are examples of writing business complaint letters that got results.
Writing a Company
My younger daughter is very crafty. My brother bought her a craft kit so she could make her own hair accessories. She was mesmerized by the pink and yellow box and the pretty flowers on it, as well as the promise that this was the best kit ever.
Since my brother ordered it online, we had to wait for it’s arrival. My daughter was so excited when it showed up in the mail! When we opened the box, it was all packaging. In it was just a few barrettes, plastic hair bands, and peel and stick flowers (that didn’t stick).
My daughter was disappointed, and I was annoyed that my brother spent so much money on junk. I could have bought all of the items in a craft store for one quarter of the price of the kit. Not to mention I wasn’t happy about my daughter being fooled.
I e-mailed the company quite a nasty letter. The heart of my correspondence with that the company had a lot of nerve selling this product to unsuspecting girls. The package was pretty, but on the inside there was nothing of value. And what was there didn’t work. Were they proud to be in the business of baiting and switching children?
I concluded my letter by telling them I would never buy any of their products ever again.
I received a response that was an apology for our experience. In order to make it up to my daughter, they sent a link to their online catalog and told her to pick out anything she wanted. She selected her item, I emailed it to them and thank them in my response.
When the carton arrived in the mail, it not only had the craft kit she requested, but several other products that she could use for crafting. It was a very kind gesture from the company and one that I remember.
Writing About a Service
Another example of a successful business customer complaint letter happened recently. My children were home from camp for the week and I promised I would take them bowling. We were going to a place that had not only bowling, but laser tag, bumper cars, an arcade, and a splash park. Since it was a busy place where many camps go on field trips, I decided to go early to beat the crowds. Before I left the house, I checked the website to see when the special for bowling began.
When we arrived, the young woman behind the desk told me this special promotion was not available for another two hours. I told her that is not what the website stated. She said it did.
I was not going to get into an argument with a young woman making minimum wage. My children would have been mortified, and I knew she couldn’t do anything about a mistake on the website.
So I walked away gracefully and took my children bowling elsewhere.
I did go home and send e-mail to the company. I copied and pasted what their website said and how my children had to leave due to their error. I also included that I couldn’t trust anything their website stated in the future. This was a special treat for my children, not something we do every day because of the cost. They were really looking forward to spending time at this venue.
A few hours later, I received an e-mail. Much to my surprise, the manager of the business was once a third grade student of mine! He apologized profusely for how I was treated was upset that the young woman did not get him to make the situation right while I was still there.
He offered my family all day passes if we would accept them. He also wanted me to come by and say hello if we come back. Of course we accepted the offer of the tickets and are looking forward to returning for a day of fun. I am also looking forward to seeing my former student!
Calling a Business
Sometimes, we buy a product at the grocery store and it doesn’t taste right or something is wrong with it. Did you know that if you call the 800 number on the box or can, that customer service will replace the product for you? I learned this fact when I was making tacos for dinner. I bought a new box of hard shells, only to open it up and have every one of them smashed to pieces.
When I called customer service and gave them the information they required, the woman sent me free coupons for the product. I appreciated what the company did.
Writing a customer complaint letter to a business makes them a better business. It has been my experience that it is worth the time and effort to let them know how to improve their products and customer service.