The Art of Complaining

If you were a superhero, who would you be? Me, I would be Advocate Man. I would want to right wrongs done to honest, hardworking people by big companies. When I write it out like that it seems silly, but when we spend our money on products or services but don’t get what we pay for, shouldn’t we make them pay?

Recently, I had three of four flights on American Airlines canceled or delayed due to mechanical failures which forced me to spend the night in an airport and essentially lose a day of my life. It was absolutely awful. So I wanted to make sure American Airlines made it right.

I almost got everything I wanted (and felt I deserved) which was more than most people probably would have received for their time and trouble. It made me remember and realize there is an art to getting what you want when wronged. Here’s what’s worked for me.

• Ask for and know in advance what would make you feel like things were put right by you. You can let them make an offer first–it may be better than what you would have wanted, but if it’s not, be ready to tell them what you will require to “let it go”.

• They don’t care about you and your feelings, it’s just business, so focus on facts and figures and (try to) leave emotions out of it.

• Create a paper trail and save any and all receipts. It’s also important to take detailed notes and save all correspondence.

• The only leverage you have is your loyalty and access to social media (they do not want you to write a bad review) so use what you have going for you to get them to do the right thing.

• They say, “It’s who you know” and when it comes to complaints, it’s important you get to the person in a position (and power) to make concessions.

• Don’t give up or give in too easily or two early. Fight for what’s right.


The Art of Complaining

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