Dos and don’ts of complaints
■ 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.