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Customer Engagement, Customer Service, Thought Leadership

10 Effective Ways to Complain About a Company Online

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Many thanks to Christine Kane of Internet Service Providers for submitting this article.

Why does it seem like prices keep going up and customer service keeps going down?  In this economy we want to make sure that every dime we spend is warranted.  Everywhere you go the prices are higher and you are getting less for your money.  Are we just doomed to be a victim of this trend or is there something we can do about it?  Or maybe you’re okay spending the money for an item, but when you get it home the quality is bad or the item arrives broken.  Can you do anything about it?  Yes you can!  While some of us enjoy going toe to toe with people at the store I understand that others don’t like conflict, but also don’t want to be a victim or more importantly they want to prevent the same thing from happening to other people.  Check out 10 effective ways to complain about a company online.

  1. Go to the Company Website: The first thing you need to do is go to the company website and write Customer Service a letter explaining what happened.  Don’t go in expecting a lot, but if you received rude service they will probably apologize and offer you some sort of discount to entice you back in.  If there is no Customer service, write to the manager or CEO.  Direct your complaint to whoever is listed on the site and let them know specifically what happened, when it happened, and where it happened.  Many times problems can be resolved without a lot of fuss.       
  2. The Better Business Bureau: Write your Better Business Bureau.  This used to mean taking out pen and paper and snail mailing it to them, but not anymore.  You can go online to this site and fill out a complaint about a company.  Depending on what the complaint is will determine where you go from there.
  3. The Federal Trade Commission: The Federal Trade Commission will investigate a company if they know about wrong doing.  In order for them to know people need to file a complaint with them.  These complaints often bring forth a pattern that tips off the FTC to do an investigation.  This will help you and anyone else who has been scammed by a company.  Go to this website and there’s a button you can click on and fill out your complaint.  It’s as easy as that.  You don’t have to provide a lot of personal information either, but if you don’t then it may limit the amount of investigating they can do.
  4. Ripoff Report: Not only is this a good site to post your complaint on, it’s a good site to check out before you go and spend money at businesses.  Any problems that people have had are listed here. This site prides itself on the fact that they will not remove complaining posts from their site even if threatened.  While that might not be good if someone chose to complain about a competitor of theirs and the complaint is full of false information, it is good in light of deep pocket companies that think they can buy and bully people into doing what they want.
  5. spam@uce.gov: This is the e-mail address to use to file your complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Fraud department.  This is the place to send complaints about spam and frauds on the Internet.
  6. Yelp: This powerhouse site lets customers rate local businesses of all kinds. If a business is not delivering on their promises, you can write a review on Yelp. Many businesses work hard to protect their online reputation and public forums like Yelp are a great way to offer your experiences, good or bad.
  7. Planetfeedback: Similar to Rip Off Report, this is a site that you can post your complaint and then other people can weigh in on what you are complaining about.  Sometimes they will agree with you, but often they don’t and try to point out another point of view.
  8. Google Your Attorney General: If you Google your state you will be able to find an e-mail address for your attorney general.  Once you have an e-mail address sit down and write a concise letter that includes the details of what happened.  If the attorney general gets several letters on the same subject they are more likely to launch an investigation.
  9. Pissed Customer: If you don’t get satisfaction from one of these sites try another one.  Here is yet another site that you can post a complaint about a company on.  No telling which one of these sites someone will read it so if you truly are trying to warn people about a rip off you may want to post your experience on all of them.
  10. How to Complain: This site is different than the others in that you are not just venting on this site in order to “get it off your chest” or to warn others away from that business.  If you want a resolution to your situation try this site because you complain THROUGH this site and they make sure that your complaint gets to where it needs to go.  They have a success rate of 76% of the people who complain through this site get a response.  Of those who got a response they claim that 86% were happy or satisfied with the end results.  It’s definitely worth a try.


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