Having taught business management, marketing and customer service for many years I decided to write a short article the rights of the customer and how a dissatisfied customer should go about making a complaint. To read more articles about problem solving please visit our website at ITS Tutorial School – “A guide to problem solving”
A customer has the following rights.
o To find out information about a product
o To choose a product
o To buy a product
o To get value for money
o To be satisfied and well looked after once the product has been purchased.
If as a customer you are dissatisfied here is a simple list of actions you can take.
Making a complaint
1. Complain to the supplier of the goods or service as soon as possible. Always give the supplier the opportunity to put the matter right first. Bear in mind that if you leave your complaint for too long you may lose some of your legal rights.
2. Make sure you take any receipt or proof of purchase with you. Don’t part with this – in case you need it later.
3. If the supplier is some distance away, or if you get no satisfaction after calling in person, then you will need to put your complaint in writing. It’s a good idea to ring the organisation and to get the name of their customer services manager so you can send the letter to that specific person.
4. Keep your letter short and to the point. In the first paragraph state when and where you bought the goods or service. In the second, state what has gone wrong clearly and unemotionally. If you have already visited the firm without any success, say when and where you called, the name of the person to whom you spoke and the outcome. In the last paragraph state what you want done and set a realistic deadline.
5. Keep copies of all correspondence. If the company telephones you, make a note of what they said and the date.
At this stage the problem is usually solved. Remember that you don’t have to accept the first offer you receive, if you feel it is a poor one.
If you are getting nowhere then get expert advice. This could include expert opinion on the problem (e.g. by asking another trader to put their views in writing), by contacting your local trading standards department or another source of help and advice.
It is worth noting that increasing number of business now publish a customer charter. The purpose of such charters is to:
o Publish standards of service
o Continually improve customer service standards
o Ensure all customers are treated equally and fairly
o Ensure all customers know how to complain.
This is a trend you can help encourage by asking businesses you deal with and if they have one. If the answer is no. Ask why not?
Better customer service is better for all of us.