How to complain…and get something done about it

Are you sick of calling and calling and not receiving a reply, or even have someone pickup who can help you with your complaint?

Well there may be a little glimmer of hope: the internet. Companies work tirelessly to maintain their reputation online, and they have teams of staff dedicated to doing this. This means as the consumer, you have the chance to have your complaints heard and needs attended to.

There are a few ways to complain online, but remember you are dealing with a company and that complaints and criticism should be fair and accurate.

The best way to complain is using social media such as Twitter and Facebook. These social networking sites are far reaching, and a complaint can be made simply from your own account. Remember your name is attached to this and the company will most probably reply to the account that you used to complain to them.

To complain on Twitter, you “mention” the company in your tweet, for example:

“@Telstra my phone line keeps dropping out and I am unable to get assistance on the phone”

The @ symbol followed by the company’s name is usually enough to contact them. Larger companies will have systems which are constantly searching social media for their name, so you can say something as simple as “Telstra is awful” to get their attention.

Complaining on Twitter is extremely effective because your comment is seen by anyone searching for the company and the company has no ability to remove or censor your comment. They desperately want to demonstrate to the public that they are helping you, and this gives you fast and personalised attention that you would probably not get on the phone or through other means. It is frustrating that it takes these kind of measures to get a response with larger companies, but it does work.

For Facebook, the best way is to use the big search box at the top to search for the company’s Facebook page, and then leave a post on their wall. You could also search Google for “<company> facebook”. Posting a message on a company’s Facebook page will almost certainly elicit a helpful response.

Another way to complain, or simply vent about a bad experience with a company. Is to use review websites such as Yelp. Sites which allow you to review businesses and restaurants will allow you to leave your complaints or compliments about companies. This is more about your fellow citizens than the company itself, in terms of informing people where they should go, and what they should stay away from.

Yelp is a wide and far reaching review site, there are more specific ones such as Trip Advisor for travel and similar nice review sites for other industries. The best way to find these is to search google for something like “<industry> product review website”.

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