07 January, 2019

How to complain online?

The Internet can be a great way to learn about products and services. You're instantly connected to a global marketplace. Millions of businesses are competing for your attention and your business. Once they've found a brand or company that they trust, many people become loyal, lifelong customers.

Most times, our online experiences are very enjoyable. Everything goes smoothly, and we receive our merchandise quickly. However, there's always those occasions where our interactions and transactions are less than pleasing. A product is out of stock, a delivery is delayed, or a promised discount isn't applied towards a purchase. Some instances leave us frustrated and in need of an acceptable solution to our problem.

In these cases, it's perfectly acceptable to complain online. You have the right to expect quality service for fair prices. There are companies that can register your complaint for you. You can also complain yourself.

Here are a few effective ways to complain online:

1. Go straight to the source.
If you're unsatisfied with a company, you can usually go right to their website to register a complaint. Many companies list customer service contact information on their website. If they don't, you may have to do a little digging to get the name and email address for a manager or supervisor to reach. State your concerns, but don't use profane language. If they're a reputable company, they should respond to your inquiry within 24 hours and offer reasonable compensation.

2. Visit the Better Business Bureau's website.
You can also fill out a complaint form on the Better Business Bureau's website. You can also read company reviews on their site. If a company has a lot of complaints against them or a poor rating, it's probably one you're better off not dealing with in the first place.

3. Complain on social media.
More people have resorted to making their complaints public in recent years. Posting complaints on social media increases awareness of problems. Sometimes, the company responds to these complaints quickly. Other times, companies have been known to delete posts as if they never happened. This can be an effective outlet, but be prepared for the positive or negative feedback you may receive.

4. Use a complaints website.
There are several websites that can publish your complaint for others to see. Angie's List, the Ripoff Report and My3Cents.com are just some complaint websites that you can use. These sites usually are fair and unbiased, allowing both positive and negative comments to be published. Certain sites even allow you to upload a video complaint to better express your frustration.

5. Contact your attorney general.
You can search online for the contact information for your attorney general's email address. You can send an email complaint to them if you wish. The more complaints received about a particular business, the more likely they are to investigate that business activity. Just make sure that you have all of your facts, and be prepared to provide receipts or copies of email correspondence if you receive a follow up response.

These are just some of the more effective ways to complain online. Regardless of what method you choose, stick to the facts. Express your displeasure in a calm, rational manner. Don't resort to name-calling or anything derogatory. State the reasons why you are unhappy, and propose a reasonable solution. 

Be polite, and follow up if you don't receive a response after a few days. Thriving companies don't like negative publicity, so they are usually more inclined to respond to complaints in a timely manner. If they don't respond, or respond negatively, then it's a lesson learned. Most companies want to keep their customers happy, because happy clients mean more business. 

Complaining isn't always easy, but it's important to resolve issues and improving the overall customer experience.

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