How To Fight For Customer Service and Your Consumer Rights

Have Today's Businesses Forgotten What Customer Service Is?

My grandparents are appalled at today's standard of customer service, and I for one think they have every right to be. As companies outsource customer service and brick-and-mortar stores pay minimum wage to employees who could are less about customer retention, customer service and consumer rights are becoming a thing of the past. How do you stop it? How do you stick up for yourself? Here are some tips.

Hold Your Head High

Attitude is half the battle. I don't care who you are or what you do for a living, when you go into a store to buy something or purchase a service from a company you are a paying customer. You should be treated like royalty. Whether it's Wal-Mart (although I don't advise shopping there) or Macy's, you have a right to be treated with the utmost respect.

Part of today's customer service troubles have to do with the fact that people have come to expect poor customer service, as though it was something they deserved. Remember, if a company wants your money they'd better earn it -- and you have every right to remind them of that fact.

Take the High Road

You need to stick up for yourself, but there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. Ranting and raving and making a scene with cuss words flying left and right is not the right way. Hold yourself in a professional manner at all times. Speak firmly, but do not scream. Never threaten. Like mom always told you, it's not what you say, it's how you say it.

Know Who to Talk To

If you're having a customer service problem, don't even bother dealing with the grunts. Go straight to management and if they don't resolve your issue, move on up the chain. If worse comes to worse, call the companies corporate offices and ask to be connected to the office of the CEO (call him or her by name, don't just say "the CEO") and if they ask what it is in regards to, say it's a corporate matter that he or she needs to know about.

Take It Public

If customer service is bad all the way to the top, go ahead and get the media involved. If the media doesn't want to play the game, print up flyers (make sure they contain only facts) and hand them out on the public property just outside of the business in question. Get some friends to picket too. You might not be able to put them out of business entirely, but you'll likely cost them some profits and you'll make it clear that this level of customer service is not acceptable.

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