A complaint only gets the desired result of resolution when done in the right manner. No subject of complaint enjoys hearing one but you can make that person listen and act accordingly with dispatch. However, it would take the right facts, documentation and determination to send the message across that you will not take no for an answer.
My very recent experience with the purchase of a reconditioned copier showed me the power of a valid complaint. Exhibiting questionable performance only after two weeks of use, I was made to believe that such problems were being caused by external factors such as the weather which apparently caused paper moisture, which in turn affected the quality of copy. I tried each and every recommendation given by the seller's technicians but the same problems would crop up every now and then for the next months. Before the sixth month, the copier required parts replacement that together with a new toner would almost be equivalent to the purchase price. Until this time, I was almost resigned to having to endure the unreliable performance of the copier for the rest of its lifetime. The very costly replacements required even before its sixth month with me finally woke me up from such hopeless resignation and so I complained.
I made a letter of complaint which detailed the circumstances of my purchase, my actual usage experience, the problems I encountered, the names of the persons I talked to for every problem, the actions they took, and the dates they happened. I was requesting the seller to buy back the copier. After a week, I received a call from the company offering either to replace the parts at no cost or to buy back the copier less an amount deemed equivalent to my use of the equipment for almost 6 months. I said I would think about it and I'm glad I did because I received a better offer after three days.
The company gave an offer for a full refund upon my return of the copier. Obviously, this would be more advantageous to me since I would be free to purchase another unit with the original money I have still intact. Three days ago, I got the check for the full refund.
Most of the time we think that it is much easier not to complain and just bear with the inconveniences. We live more when we know when to speak up and when to keep quiet. Doing business with reputable companies is always an advantage since they are more willing to listen because they stand to lose more when they lose the trust of their customers.
The more I read this post of mine, the more I am convinced that I did the right thing. Most of the time, we choose to keep quiet about something even if it affects us deeply just to avoid confrontations with other people. The positive end result of this stressful transaction further convinced me that there is nothing that cannot be fixed if two opposing camps are willing to sit down and consider all options.
Our consumer rights provide us a way to air valid complaints about defective products. When full refund is not possible, there are other agreements that can be arrived upon which will not be unfair to all.
That said, consumers must make sure that they are lodging a valid complaint.