Why it pays to complain to Companies (even in #Kuwait!)

A lot of people will tell you, complaining gets you no where.

Companies have and continue to wrong customers since the beginning of time.

Most companies manage to get away with it because the customer fails in their civil duty to report such wrong doings and accepts the status quo as inevitable.

I am here to tell you that this is complete and utter poppy-cock.

David vs Goliath

For just as David slew Goliath, so to can you slay the demon that is corporate identity. For we have been empowered with a very awe-striking weapon – our gabs and the internet.

Picture if you will the following scenario 40 or so years ago; a customer buys a plane ticket and is unable to use it, the terms and conditions read non-refundable. In order to complain, said customer would have to give up their precious time to stand in line and file a formal complaint, wasting pain-staking hours in a queue that leads to no-where.

The never ending queue

The never ending queue

Not any more, and never again!

The internet has provided us with a very fast and direct way to target our complaints; emails!

The following are a few  ACTUAL scenarios that occurred to me (personally):

1) I was travelling back home to survive my then-fiance (now loving wife) for new years, at the luggage carousel I saw what appeared to be my luggage however it was horribly misshapen, with metallic wires protruding from where the frame should be. I called up customer service and after being given the loop around demanded the email of the regional manager (which the employee provided, albeit incorrectly at first). They informed me I should have spoken to someone at the airport itself, however since I didn’t, and still made a lot of noise about it, they agreed to pay me for the broken luggage (and commandeer it as well).

Case closed. Match, set & Point. 1:0

2) Same airline as above, through no fault of my own (ok maybe it was PARTIALLY my fault) I arrived at the airport counter 5 minutes after closing, literally 5 minutes and was denied boarding. Made noise, no response yet.

Case ongoing. Probable lost cause. 1:1

3) New airline; purchased ticket to go to neighboring GCC country on their 5-star airline. At check-in, I am informed that my job title as per my residency does not permit me visa-on-arrival (my title happened to be in the middle of two accepted titles, one above and one below- they accepted sales manager and sales associate, I was designated as sales executive at the time even though I had nothing to do with sales but that is another tale for another time), so I was asked to leave. I sent an email to them, and their initial response was “read terms and conditions”, “non-refundable”, “sorry” and quote-unqoute tough luck. They would only refund me the tax amount which was less than 10% of the ticket price. Of course I kept at it, refusing to give up, email after email after email until finally, they relented! And I was given a credit of the EXACT amount I paid to use during a years time to fly.

Case closed. Match, set and point! 2:1

Qatar Airways

4) I purchased ANOTHER TICKET (this has DEFINITELY not been my favorite year for flying!) and mistakenly mixed up the arrival and departure airports through a famous booking agent in Dubai. I booked the ticket during Ramadan at 10PM and subsequently sent an email requesting to cancel it at 9AM (i.e. 11 hours later). Their response, we will deduct two fees; our cancellation fee (which was equivalent to 25% of the ticket price) as well as the airline cancellation fee (20% of ticket price) leaving me with a measly 55% of the ticket price. Again they cited terms and conditions, but I hit them with best practices as the world famous online booking agent (EXPEDIA!) allow for free cancellation within 24 hours of booking. The emails dragged along, and I spoke to one “manager” on the phone who refused to entertain my request (George something-or-other from some EU country, if you are reading this, IN YOUR FACE!) however, finally, as a “gesture of goodwill” and most likely to shut me up, I was allowed to waive their cancellation fee and receive a good chunk of my money back.



Case closed. Match, set and point! 3:1!!

So yes, online complaints DO receive proper attention (with a proven success record of 75%).

What have you got to lose? Exercise your right to speak and rise up against the corporate Machine!

A quick Google search will pinpoint which emails to correspond to, and from there just keep hitting back.

Every policy has an exception.

Learn that.

Of course if all else fails make a blog post and slam the non-responders (within the proper confines of the law and not being derogatory in any way!)

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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