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James H. Dimmitt -- Here are some tips to make sure that your complaint is NOT ignored.

At some point in time you will be faced with the need to register a complaint because of a poor product or poor service, or maybe even both!

Here are some tips to make sure that your complaint is NOT ignored.

Keep Your Cool

It's difficult to do this when you are "mad as all get out," but it's a key step to making sure your complaint gets heard. Act reasonably and politely.

Make the person on the other end of your complaint WANT to help you. Losing your temper can cause the other person to become "defensive" instead of cooperative and helpful.

Identify Yourself

Don't start out with "what" you are -- "I'm a lawyer," "I'm a doctor," "I'm a trash collector." Start out with "who" you are -- "My name is Jim." You want them to see you as a person, not just as another problem.

Give them your name and telephone number. This allows the other person to respond more effectively and follow up with results. Remaining anonymous doesn't establish the one-on-one relationship you need in order to have your problem resolved.

Be Precise

Have receipts and other records available to assist you in giving an accurate account of your complaint. Give them as many details as you can -- the date you made the purchase, the store where you made the purchase or encountered the problem, the name of the salesperson you were working with, etc.

Keep a record of the date, time, and name of any person you speak with about your complaint. If they are unable to resolve your complaint immediately, ask when you can reasonably expect a follow-up phone call.

Thank You

End your conversation by thanking them for their help. If you have the person's name you are speaking with, address them by name, "Thank you, Angela."

When the problem is resolved to your satisfaction, you may even want to write a simple thank you note. People who work in customer service appreciate this more than you may realize.

If you don't have the time or patience to write a letter, here's a great resource I found online: www.planetfeedback.com. You simply fill out a form on their site and they will compose a well-written letter you can then send to the company. Better yet, they'll even tell you the best person to send it to. And it's free.

Use these steps "to your credit" the next time you have a complaint, and you'll have greater success and results.

James H. Dimmitt is editor of To Your Credit, a free weekly newsletter. Subscribe to the newsletter by visiting http://www.yourfreecreditreportnow.com. He is also author of Identity Theft -- How to Avoid Becoming the Next Victim! available at http://tinyurl.com/bc45.

© 2005 James H. Dimmitt

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of College Central Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Reference to any company, organization, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by College Central Network, Inc., its affiliates or associated companies. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice or guidance of your legal or medical professional.