Use these websites for consumer complaints against retailers

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 By

A humourous sign that reads “Complaint Department.”

Filing a complaint shouldn't be dangerous. (CC BY-SA/Adam the atom/Wikipedia)

Consumers who have received poor customer service and been afforded little or no recourse for complaint often feel a sense of powerlessness. Enter the World Wide Web, a powerful tool for getting in touch. When phone calls and emails fail to produce the desired response, consumers still have a public forum in which to voice their dissatisfaction at poor products and poor service. If you believe the customer is always right, make it so by using one or more of the following websites for consumer complaints.

Amazon

If you purchase an item through an Amazon.com affiliated retailer and have a bad experience, Amazon encourages consumers to give an appropriately negative review so steps toward corrective action can potentially be taken. However, even if you don’t purchase an item through Amazon.com, odds are the thing you bought is on the online retail giant’s inventory sheet. Enlighten other customers if a product is of poor quality or otherwise not as advertised by the manufacturer. Be sure you’re following instructions regarding the use of the product before you complain.

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The Consumerist

At Consumerist.com, readers and staff provide a wealth of complaints and tips regarding products and services. Many top articles on the website are exposes on big box retailers who have taken advantage of consumers. Best Buy has been a frequent target. Think of it as food for thought before you buy.

Yelp

This wildly popular consumer ratings website applies to many different types of retailers, although restaurants are most common. If you want the process of filing a complaint to be easy and for your concerns to have significant impact upon how a retailer does business in the future, few sites are better than Yelp. Be honest, be clear and be fair.

Trip Advisor

Travel is a huge industry, and nobody wants to say they were taken advantage of by an unscrupulous or otherwise lackadaisical hotel. Go on Trip Advisor and explain the problem. Much like with Yelp, business managers pay attention to what’s posted on Trip Advisor. Don’t be surprised if, after filing a complaint, a manager gets in touch, either to counter your claim or offer compensation.

Twitter

The beauty of Twitter is that it has become the go-to service for instantly voicing opinions and complaints about anyone or anything. Through judicious use of hashtags, a disgruntled consumer can get some attention. When a problem is large-scale enough – such as when online banking for a giant like Bank of America goes down – it very likely will become a Twitter trending topic that the entire world will know about.

Facebook

Retailer Facebook pages are one place to voice consumer complaints, although it should be noted that the retailer has the power to delete comments. An alternative would be for a consumer to start a Facebook page dedicated to the poor experience. If your story is catchy or compelling enough to grab the public’s attention, you could start a mini-movement that will get the retailer’s attention. As always, be smart and protect yourself by not slinging slanderous remarks that could expose you to legal action.

Remember the documentation

It’s one thing to say you received a bad product or poor customer service, but evidence to back up your claim will make your story more powerful. Use photographs to drive your point home. Keep receipts, contracts or anything else pertinent.

Filing a complaint with the FTC

Sources

Main St.

Savvy Sugar

USA.gov

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