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Please Explain: How to Complain Effectively

Friday, July 12, 2013

Complaining is a favorite pastime for some people, but it is possible to complain in order to get results and prompt change? On this week’s Please Explain we’ll find out how! Tod Marks, Senior Projects Editor at Consumer Reports, and Guy Winch, Psychology Today blogger and author of The Squeaky Wheel and Emotional First Aid, explain the art of complaining effectively.

Guests:

Tod Marks and Guy Winch

Comments [14]

Sky Contact Details from Manhattan

Nice discussion for sureI hope there's an effective way to "complaint" - make positive changes - to the MTA. Subway always delays for odd reasons or a common reason - traffic ahead; while buses are so unreliable.The best way to correct/fix a problem is with a well-written letter to the right person. You must do your research and always cc the consumer protection agency, or elected official.I have been the User of <a href="http://www.skycustomerservice.co/">Sky Customer Service Number</a>service it has been a good experince altogether.

Mar. 22 2014 08:03 AM
sr

Why are none of the resources mentioned in the program listed here?

Jul. 16 2013 02:04 AM
MTA pax from NYC

I hope there's an effective way to "complaint" - make positive changes - to the MTA. Subway always delays for odd reasons or a common reason - traffic ahead; while buses are so unreliable. During rush hour, limited buses may not show for 15 mins, then you see 5 buses come at once. (This is true in many parts of Queens.)
Some bus drivers follow schedule, while some just couldn't care less.

Jul. 13 2013 01:46 AM
MC from Manhattan

I NEVER bully or act like an idiot that is angry at a Call center employee.
To do so is to be an ass. I am always sympathetic tell them I understand it is not their fault , that I know they are are like myself not paid enough and over worked .. that I am angry at the SITUATION and not THEM. I try to engage in conversation, get to be friends and then I get names and supervisors and get them saying to ME that they really appreciate my approach and wil try their best.

Jul. 12 2013 01:50 PM
Angela from Brooklyn

I find the "I'm nice until I'm not" method works the best. Treat the issue with the attention it deserves, but not more. And recognize that the customer service rep is not the enemy.

Jul. 12 2013 01:49 PM
Maude from Park SLope

I think "the complaint sandwich" is very helpful, although I recently had an author use this approach with me, and it was very clear to me that he was using a psychological device to help me make his changes in the way he wanted. It just felt a little fake to me, and was slightly annoying.

Jul. 12 2013 01:48 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I find I mind waiting on hold much less now that I can spend the time playing Freerice (freerice.com), a multiple-choice vocabulary (& more) game that donates rice (10 grains/correct answer) through the World Food Program. When the company rep apologizes for the wait, I say, "That's OK, I just donated 3,000 grains of rice while I was waiting!" This way I also spread the word about the program.

I also make a point of telling the rep that I understand they didn't cause the problem--even, or maybe especially, when I'm angry about it.

And I don't think people who whine or vent don't *want* things to change--they don't think things *will* change in response to their complaint.

Jul. 12 2013 01:45 PM
Charles from New York City

What about the bullying tactic? Sometimes I feel like the only way to get some service reps to take me seriously is to pretend I'm really furious, even when I'm not.

Jul. 12 2013 01:44 PM
Brandon from Brooklyn

When I talk to a customer center call center I make a point of asking where they are located. Even when the answer is boring, like just over in NJ, hearing where they are on this planet keeps in mind that it's just a person at work on the other end. Not the company I'm upset with.

Jul. 12 2013 01:39 PM
Marlon campbell from Queens Village

My most effective opening when dealing with a customer service representative is to say, "I know that you didn't cause this problem, but I am hoping you can help me solve it."
Usually works like a charm.

Jul. 12 2013 01:36 PM
Tina from Manhattan

The best way to correct/fix a problem is with a well-written letter to the right person. You must do your research and always cc the consumer protection agency, or elected official.
Tina

Jul. 12 2013 01:33 PM
Alison from NJ

As a high school teacher, I've found parents are quick to complain when their students haven't earned a high enough grade. Instead of finding out what the student could do to improve, the focus becomes everything they believe the teacher did wrong. (It often seems inconceivable that the problem could be with the student or his/her work.) Does it really help a student to improve if s/he knows that Mom or Dad will rush in to complain about the teacher instead of holding the student accountable?

Jul. 12 2013 01:33 PM

Advice on complaining productively to legislators? Or complaining in a way that effectively rallies others to a collective cause? The guest mentioned helplessness; those of us who desire political change probably feel that most.

Jul. 12 2013 01:32 PM
e snowden from planet xenu

these pretzels are making ME thirsty !

Jul. 12 2013 01:26 PM

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