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Thank You for Complaining


Published on: Jul 8, 20103 comments

Complaint Dept.I am not a complainer by nature. Sure, I will send back a cold entree but I will do it nicely. If I am particularly upset, I will send a strongly worded letter (after all I’m a writer.) But in general, I don’t complain.

This week, however, I had three complaints to make–with three decidedly different outcomes.

1. I hired a business to fix my paver patio. Instead, they did over $2,000 worth of damage to my whole patio and then refused to answer their phone or messages.

I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and I am hoping for an acceptable resolution. If it is not resolved, you can be sure I will be sharing their name and their shoddy business practices with everyone I know.

2. I had an issue go from bad to worse (which I am not at liberty to share–but trust me, it’s not a pleasant story.) When I called to make a complaint, it was not to ask for anything in return. I just wanted to save other people from the trouble and I felt the business should know so they could fix it in the future.

The first person I spoke with was helpful and apologetic. But he felt the person in charge needed to know the details. When that person called me, she was combative and accusing. Essentially, they wanted me to waste my time and resources to “prove” my complaint.

3. Third time must be the charm. I had a computer issue which required me to use the customer service feature at Carbonite, my online backup system. I have only been using Carbonite for a few months and I needed their assistance quickly and at an odd hour. The problem was solved but it inadvertently removed the program from my computer.

When I was sent a customer service survey, I mentioned how happy I was with my customer service person (Josh) but that I hadn’t been able to reload Carbonite onto my main computer. They had already sent me an automated response, telling me how to reinstall the system so the problem was already fixed.

So I was puzzled when I got another email from Carbonite. But this is what it said:

“We noted in your survey response that you indicated that you were pleased with Carbonite. We are glad to hear of your satisfaction and appreciate your business. We look forward to serving you in the future.

Further, as a token of our appreciation for your having completed our survey and for your business we are adding an additional month to your subscription.”

I didn’t even complain–I actually complimented Carbonite and they still sent me a bonus gift!

This is how customer service should be handled in a world where complaints can be magnified by a massive Twitter feed or viral outreach.

How do YOU handle complaints?


3 thoughts on “Thank You for Complaining

  1. I have been using Carbonite for a couple years and that is one of the reasons I use them. When I tried contacting support for some other online backup companies I had numerous troubles with them. Contacting Carbonite support, when I have had to, has been good. Although, they have never given me a free month.

  2. Well, Bob, surely that’s because they must like me better. (Kidding, of course.)

    I appreciate positive reinforcement and I especially appreciate quality customer service.

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