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Get the Customer Service You Deserve

The following post is from Christina of Northern Cheapskate:

Customer Service Take a Number
source: Andres Rueda

Whether you bought a defective product or were treated poorly by a company, you always have the right to good customer service.

As the saying goes, “No one cares about your money as much as you do.” Sure, it may be a hassle to return a product or complain about service, but when you do, you’re not only making sure you’re protecting your investment, you’ll be helping improve customer service and product development for everyone.

Here are some tips to make sure you get the customer service you deserve:

Pay attention to warranty information

Most products have some kind of warranty and many have money-back guarantees, so check the fine print, and be sure to contact the company within the time frame stated. There’s nothing worse than discovering the problem you’ve put off dealing with for a few weeks is now no longer covered by warranty.

Keep all receipts and instruction manuals.

If you’re having problems with a product, be sure to go back and review the instructions. You may find a solution or at least a better idea of what the problem is when you look at the manual. Having the manual will also make it easier to identify the exact model number of your product. Keep your receipts, too. You’ll need them to demonstrate proof of purchase.

Voice your displeasure.

If possible, communicate the problem in person or by phone. It’s a lot easier to answer questions and share your feelings with someone who doesn’t have time to write a carefully canned non-response letter. E-mail can be helpful if you are looking to keep a written transcript of the issue, but it’s not as personal.

You are more likely to get a positive response if you keep the conversation polite, friendly, and calm. But don’t be a doormat. You have paid good money for your product or service deserve to have your concerns addressed.

Keep trying until you get the response you want.

Sometimes this means calling back and talking to another customer service representative. Other times, you may need to ask to speak to a manager. Don’t be afraid to work your way up the chain.

No response? Consider social media.

I’m not a huge fan of the mud-slinging and nastiness that can appear on Twitter or Facebook, but if you’ve tried all of the traditional routes, you may want to try posting a friendly, but strong message on the company’s Facebook page or sending them a tweet. A good company will be quick to respond to save face.

Document every conversation.

Take good notes about any conversations you have with customer service, including who you talked to and what suggestions they had. This information will be helpful should a complaint need to be taken to the next level.

File a formal complaint.

If you’ve gotten no response (or an awful response) and your situation has not been corrected, you could consider filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or (in a worst-case scenario), consider a small claims lawsuit. If your complaint involves a safety concern, be sure to report it to

Thank a company for responding positively.

If you get a great response from the company, be sure to thank them. A positive resolution and a positive response will make it more likely the company will do even better next time.

Just remember that your money is worth fighting for, and it’s worth it to help prevent future bad experiences for other customers.

What are some ways you make sure you get the customer service you deserve?

Christina Brown is the creator of Northern Cheapskate, a blog dedicated to frugal living through coupons, freebies, and money-saving ideas. She lives in the rural north woods of Minnesota where she clips coupons, pinches pennies, and chases her three boys (a 6-year-old and twin 4-year olds) as a stay-at-home mom.