Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Art of the Complaint Letter

The following is a genuine complaint letter to a certain retailer. Actually it was Yuriko who was on the receiving end of clerkly rudeness, but I'm the designated complaint-letter writer in the family. Names and other details changed.

ATTN: Rufus T. Firefly, Executive Vice President, Behemoth Retail Corp.

November 27, 2007

Dear Mr. Firefly,
On the evening of November 26, 2007, I went shopping at the Behemoth store in Schaumburg, Ill., and experienced rude treatment from one of your checkout clerks.

Her name was Dana. I don’t know her last name, but she did ring me up at register X, transaction no. Y that evening.

I wanted to use a gift card I had acquired from Behemoth some time earlier to pay for part of my purchase. It had a $5 balance, and neither I nor anyone else in my family had used it. Dana informed me, however, that the balance was zero. I told her that was not the case, at which time she brusquely told me I was wrong, implying that I was trying to get something for nothing. Her only suggestion after that was to call the number on the back of the card.

Probably at that point I should have asked for the store manager, but I was angry, and wanted to leave, so I did, after purchasing more than $60 worth of items from your store, without the gift-card discount I was entitled to.

About an hour later, I called the number on the card, and the automated system told me the card still was worth $5. Dana was mistaken, and displayed a “not my problem” attitude. The card number is X-X-X-X-238.

Five dollars is a small amount. The amount of good will Dana cost your store and your brand is considerably more.


At 12:36 PM, Blogger nylonthread said...

From what Akio tells me, his father Tom Stribling, was quite the complaint-letter writer. I had the privilege of reading such a letter, written late in his life, that began something like: "Dear X, I am disabled, in a wheelchair, and am so blind I can hardly see my typewriter keys to write, but couldn't let the poor service I received from your staff today go without notice..."

I wish I had met that guy!


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