When you have been left out of pocket financially due to the mistakes of others, it’s hard to take.
You can try and remind yourself that mistakes happen. It’s human nature; we can’t get everything right all of the time. If you can occasionally make mistakes, then the people behind companies can make them as well. It happens, so you try and remember that.
It’s pretty tough to keep your cool though, isn’t it?
After all, you’re trying to be smart with your finances. You’re making every effort to budget effectively, to save money, to do all you can to keep your family afloat. Then someone makes an error that has a financial impact. It might be measuring your water usage incorrectly, putting you on the wrong tax code, or ordering a product online that never fails to materialize. You’re compromised, and it’s totally out of your control.
Up against a faceless corporate structure, it can feel like you’re at the mercy of rules you have never been allowed to understand. The company has their policy and way of doing things; you just want to get your money back so you can steady the ship. If you have overpaid a bill or become liable for more tax than you were expecting, then it’s going to sting you financially. Suddenly you have no money and no one is taking responsibility for the issue.
You therefore need a battle plan. It involves being relentless, never giving up on the pursuit of reclaiming what’s rightfully yours, and knowing all the tricks to pull to ensure you finally get a resolution. There’s a grim satisfaction to seeing your online account credited or getting that tax returned text but if you’re forthright enough, then that day will come – and victory will be yours
Step 1: Put It In Writing
Making complaints over the phone is next to useless. If you have a complaint, then write it down and send it initially to the customer service address. You can start a formal complaint procedure over the phone at the same time, but always make sure you send a hard copy.
Step 2: Write Everything Down
When you speak to someone about the issue, write down who you spoke with, the time and date, and what you agreed the next step was. If something gets miscommunicated at their end or you are given incorrect information, this is your fallback so you can track the entire process.
Step 3: Ask Who You Need To Speak To
Demanding to speak to a supervisor is not going to fix anything (and it may annoy the representative you’re speaking to). Instead, ask firmly: “can I get the name or department of the person responsible for dealing with these issues?”. There may be a complaints team or a particular manager you need to address your concerns to.
Step 4: Don’t Be Afraid Of Escalating
You can find the email address or phone number for many CEOs online. If you don’t think the matter is being dealt with swiftly enough, then use it.
Step 5: Be Reasonable
Even if a company hasn’t called you back six times in a row, always give them a chance at the seventh. 24 hours is a reasonable time period. If they don’t get back to you by then, then get back in touch – and be persistent. If it’s made clear you’re not going to let this matter drop, then they’re more likely to rush through a solution just to be clear of you!