Bad Customer Experience? Complain about it!

May 4, 2006 by  

Recently we took our kids to the restaurant Mars 2112 in NYC as a birthday treat. They were excited and looking forward to it for weeks.

We waited patiently for an hour to get in. We took their 5 minute “rocket ride” to Mars. Inside, the atmosphere is awesome. It looks like a futuristic restaurant inside a cavern (in the 2 story basement of a Manhattan office building). The kids loved it. The waitress who took our order and the roaming “aliens” were friendly. Everything was fine until a server with a nasty attitude dumped our food on the table. While the kids didn’t notice, the 3 adults at the table wouldn’t stop talking about it.

To leave the restaurant, customers get to “beam” back to the lobby using their teleporter. You enter a room, door closes behind you, lights flash as you are demolecularized and reassembled back on earth. Then another door opens and you exit to the lobby/gift shop. Unfortunately they choose to leave both doors open and the kids could see straight through from the restaurant to the gift shop, which ruined the illusion. The kids would not stop talking about how disappointed they were.

This week I ordered a dehumidifier from During the online order process, the Web site clearly promised me that I could pickup the product in store 2 hours after I received a confirmation email. The email arrived at 2:14pm. I arrived at the store at 5:45pm. They had 3.5 hours to pull the product and queue it for pickup. The store was not busy. The customer service rep immediately found my order in the computer. Yet it took 40 minutes for them to find the product and get me out of the store. There were a dozen employees in blue smocks standing around talking to each other. While the employees were friendly, my time was wasted.

What to do? COMPLAIN!

I filed complaints. I wasn’t nasty or angry, but I clearly explain that the company failed on a customer service promise.

Chances are you wont get anything more than an brief apology, but it is critical to bring things like this to the company’s attention. Otherwise, the company will blissfully go about business as usual.

How to complain:
1. Set your tone. Don’t be nasty or angry.

2. Do not nitpick about stupid things. Instead position them as suggestions for improvement.

3. Clearly explain the circumstances and why you think your expectations were not met.

4. Provide details (i.e. store info, product info, day/time, names of people you talked to, etc.) so the company can easily figure out what went wrong and who was responsible.

5. Post product reviews online to share your experience. But be fair and wait until after the company has had a reasonable chance to respond to your complaint. Then be sure to explain in your review what went wrong and how the company may or may not have tried to correct the problem for you.

Be sure to imagine yourself in their shoes. If you got an angry complaint with no details, how seriously would you take it? But if you get constructive criticism with details, then you can take meaningful action.

I hope this helps. Go get ’em!


One Response to “Bad Customer Experience? Complain about it!”
  1. Jessica says:

    I had a recent bad experience with GameStop. I wrote about it on my blog, too. I really hate when companies steal money from customers.

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