Complain more!

Now, there’s no reason to be a whiner, but when your complaint can make a positive difference in how a company does business in the future, you should absolutely let them know.  Any decent business does not want unhappy customers and will take cost-effective steps when it can to avoid unhappy customers in the future.  Point this out to them in a polite way, and good businesses will respond.  Given my recent experiences, I can only conclude that far too few people complain, because when I do complain, businesses respond.

Remember how I was a victim of a scam due to carelessness on the part of TWC customer service?  Well, now TWC has a list of the official phone numbers for all the hardware providers their customers would want to contact.  Why, because I explained the situation to them.

Recently, I spent a wasted trip to my VW dealer to address my “check engine” light but it turns out my on-line scheduled appointment was for “express service” only, i.e., oil changes, etc.  There was nothing in the on-line sign-up to prevent this mistake from happening and I let VW know.  I got an email this morning that the service manager had spent hours talking to their on-line scheduling vendor to prevent this type of problem happening in the future.

Now, I cannot believe I’m the first TWC customer to get a bad phone number or the first Leith VW customer to unwittingly schedule an inappropriate express service appointment.  Yet both companies responded timely and appropriately, leading me to believe that I’m the first one to actually register a polite complaint to the appropriate management.

So, my clear conclusion: more people should complain more often.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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