I love the internet, not least because of online contact forms. When there’s a problem with a product, I just hop online and find the manufacturer or seller’s contact form to let them know of the problem. Here are five tips to keep in mind when writing your note:
1. Be polite. Remember that the person who will be reading your note is likely not personally responsible for the problem, no matter how aggravating, and isn’t deserving of a diatribe. I always start my notes Dear Sir or Madam, end with Sincerely, and use polite language in between.
2. Be concise. You have to explain enough of the problem so the reader understands the cause of your dissatisfaction, but your complaint may be overlooked if you ramble.
3. Provide product information. Sometimes the online form requires you to input the pertinent information – like an order number, product code, etc. If it doesn’t, provide those facts that seem important to prove your complaint (for example, when complaining about a packaging error, I have included the UPC code, lot number, and location of purchase). Don’t discard the product until you have heard back, since companies sometimes ask for items to be sent back (at their cost) so they can examine the defect.
4. State your desired remedy. Whether you want a full refund, a partial refund, a free product coupon to replace the faulty product, or some other remedy, you should state that clearly in your note.
5. Provide your contact information. In some cases, like with an online purchase, this may be unnecessary if you provide the order number because the company shouldn’t need more info to issue a refund to your credit card. But if you requested a coupon or something that needs to be sent to you, provide the appropriate information so that the company can fulfill your request.
By following these guidelines, I save my family a few dollars per month, on average – and as we’ve discussed before, small amounts add up!