Dos and don’ts of com­plaints

Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Gwyn­neth Haywood

■ In the past, con­sumers who wanted oth­ers to know about their bad ex­pe­ri­ence with a busi­ness would usu­ally rely on word of mouth or per­haps a strongly worded let­ter to a news­pa­per editor, but nowa­days it’s com­mon­place for peo­ple to speak out on so­cial me­dia.

With more and more busi­nesses us­ing so­cial me­dia as a way to ad­ver­tise prod­ucts and ser­vices and con­nect with cus­tomers, it’s only nat­u­ral con­sumers will use th­ese chan­nels to com­plain as well.

From our per­spec­tive, if a so­cial me­dia ex­change be­tween a cus­tomer and busi­ness re­sults in an agreed out­come with­out Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion’s in­ter­ven­tion, then that’s a good thing. If you have a prob­lem with some­thing you have bought, be­fore com­plain­ing on so­cial me­dia you should con­sider whether it’s more ap­pro­pri­ate to con­verse with the seller an­other way.

This might be a phone call or let­ter to the man­ager of a busi­ness, or send­ing an email via the com­pany’s of­fi­cial web­site.

Re­view Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion’s Com­plaint Check­list for tips: www.com­merce.wa.gov.au/cp.

If there is no clear dis­pute res­o­lu­tion process avail­able, or you are not get­ting re­sults by fol­low­ing it, then so­cial me­dia is an op­tion. Firstly, re­mov­ing emo­tion from the sit­u­a­tion, only stat­ing facts and keep­ing on mes­sage (calmly) will put you in the best po­si­tion.

This means if you ask for help to solve a prob­lem in a rea­son­able way, they will likely want to as­sist you be­cause re­fus­ing would make them look bad.

Any­one on the at­tack and en­gag­ing in per­sonal in­sults or ex­ple­tives is un­likely to get the de­sired out­come from the per­son man­ag­ing the so­cial me­dia ac­count for that busi­ness.

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