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Author Topic: Letters of complaint: Recorded or not?  (Read 2400 times)

Offline Reinardina

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Letters of complaint: Recorded or not?
« on: June 04, 2014, 08:13:20 AM »
Sadly, I have had to write some letters of complaint recently. I always stick on a first class stamp, and send them off.

A friend told me recently, I should have sent them recorded delivery, or the company might deny ever having received it. And sure enough, my local computer repair shop (which houses the local post office!), denied ever having received it, when I went in to enquire why I hadn't had an answer.

My experience of the last months has taught me, most companies are terribly slow answering anything, and I suppose a complaint might take even longer. An acknowledgement of receipt, would only be polite, and was the norm in the days I still worked. At least at the company I worked for.

Has any of you any experience in this minefield? Do you always send them recorded delivery? Or can Royal Mail be trusted to deliver normal letters to the right address? And if so, why do companies not seem to acept this fact?



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Offline kerbside

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Re: Letters of complaint: Recorded or not?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2014, 08:31:13 AM »
Reinardina,

If I send ANYTHING that I want to know has got there for my business it always goes registered mail, only way to do it I think. Likewise if we send a package or anything it always has to be signed for.
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Offline Andrew

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Re: Letters of complaint: Recorded or not?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2014, 09:29:17 AM »
I operate with a simple principle nowadays when dealing with companies.

I record everything.

Conversations on phone, = time, date & name of person spoken to.
Snail Mail = recorded always. Some times letter content inlcudes a copy of Sales Legislation that covers my complaint and their duty in dealing with my complaint.
E-Mail = ALWAYS ask for an acknowledgement of reciept if auto reciept facility not available

I treat all companies in the same way as they treat me. Just an invoice number for money recieved and personal data that may later be used for marketing.

If you think I sound cold, just remeber it was the way companies have treated me that has made me like this.
IMHO - customers are only valued in respect of their future revenue potential. If potential is high, you get more respect. If it is low - not much if any respect.
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Offline Karen

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Re: Letters of complaint: Recorded or not?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2014, 09:48:29 AM »
I went to small claims court once in respect of a damaged sofa I bought. I won because I had all conversations, dates, times etc documented. Therefore have always followed this principle ever since.

Offline Graham

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Re: Letters of complaint: Recorded or not?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2014, 11:05:29 AM »
First hint of problems, open a word document and start a diary of events, just record dates times contacts and facts (no opinions) keep it short and to the point and it only takes a couple of minutes.
If they know you have this information the chances are you won't need it.  :knuppel2:
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Offline Jediboy

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Re: Letters of complaint: Recorded or not?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2014, 12:02:33 PM »
Some sound advice here.
Quite often these days I email my complaints as there is a record.  I'm also very persistent, because I have found that if you're not they'll ignore you.
Good luck in the future.
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Offline Reinardina

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Re: Letters of complaint: Recorded or not?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2014, 01:20:19 PM »
Thank you all.

I do keep records of phone calls etc. I'm not adverse to using email, but personally like the 'feel' and impression of hard copy.

I do not like the 'web forms' some companies use. I do keep a copy of those, but you can never prove you sent it. And boy, do some firms make it hard to find their (email)address!

What I didn't know, was that standards have slipped so far, you can't trust (certain) companies, to act on a letter sent by unrecorded snail mail.
This will mean many more trips to the post office, as I've been sending official documents to and fro for ages. Those I did send recorded delivery of course.
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Offline DigiDiva

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Re: Letters of complaint: Recorded or not?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2014, 06:20:27 PM »
I work in an escalated, high profile complaints department as a complaints manager for a particular, high profile government department. Reinardina, may I suggest that if you get nowhere in a reasonable time, ask for a team leader. If you still don't get anywhere, threaten to go to the ombudsman...please see here to find the right ombudsman. http://www.ombudsmanassociation.org/

I was having problems re a sofa and as soon as I mentioned going to the furniture ombudsman, they bent over backwards for me. DO NOT BE FOBBED OFF! I will try to advise you if I can, I have been in this job for almost 8 years now so have lots of 'complaint resolving' experience. Good luck and don't give up.
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Offline Reinardina

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Re: Letters of complaint: Recorded or not?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2014, 07:05:58 PM »
I work in an escalated, high profile complaints department as a complaints manager for a particular, high profile government department. Reinardina, may I suggest that if you get nowhere in a reasonable time, ask for a team leader. If you still don't get anywhere, threaten to go to the ombudsman...please see here to find the right ombudsman. http://www.ombudsmanassociation.org/

I was having problems re a sofa and as soon as I mentioned going to the furniture ombudsman, they bent over backwards for me. DO NOT BE FOBBED OFF! I will try to advise you if I can, I have been in this job for almost 8 years now so have lots of 'complaint resolving' experience. Good luck and don't give up.

Thanks Chris, I'll keep it in mind. I'll ask you for the address again, when I need it, because I will probably have forgotten.

I worked in customer complaints for a time as well, and found that people with genuine complaints, were always polite and almost apologised for troubling you, while the ones who tried it on, where the rudest you could ever come across. I suppose, as a  complaints manager, you only deal with the rude ones.

But, I actually came on line to tell everyone I have regained my trust in businesses. So far the local computershop is the only firm that denies having received my letter.

The other one, is my electricity company. I just rang the 'Head of Customer Service' and they hadn't got round to answering it, but at least the lady acknowledged they had received it on the 27th of May. I'm probably too impatient, and I forgot that the Bank Holiday weekend, must have delayed it; I posted it on the 22nd.

The third letter was to John Lewis, and I only posted it last Saturday. I simply could not believe they would be so mean as to deny receiving it. And they didn't. I just got a phone call from the manager of the audio department (it was about my Lenovo laptop that kept breaking down), and she offered me £200 towards a new laptop. More or less half the amount I paid. Not bad for an 18 month old machine. Said I'd think about it.

I do pride myself though, that I write a great letter of complaint. Something I can do in writing, but not in a face to face talk, hence my preference for written complaints.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2014, 07:26:20 PM by Reinardina »
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Offline Oldboy

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Re: Letters of complaint: Recorded or not?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2014, 10:22:10 PM »
I always find going into the store and slapping a baseball bat down on the counter works well!  :P :legit:

Offline Reinardina

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Re: Letters of complaint: Recorded or not?
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2014, 06:15:38 AM »
I always find going into the store and slapping a baseball bat down on the counter works well!  :P :legit:

That normally does the trick, but I broke mine last time I used it, so had to think of something else. Went for a more subtle approach, and it worked a treat.   :knuppel2:
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Offline Oldboy

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Re: Letters of complaint: Recorded or not?
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2014, 08:37:59 AM »
I always find going into the store and slapping a baseball bat down on the counter works well!  :P :legit:

That normally does the trick, but I broke mine last time I used it, so had to think of something else. Went for a more subtle approach, and it worked a treat.   :knuppel2:

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Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Letters of complaint: Recorded or not?
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2014, 08:38:43 AM »
Well done Re.

I always find that polite and firm works more quickly and more effectively than aggression - unless, of course, you are dealing with a 'rogue trader', in which case even the baseball bat won't achieve very much.

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Offline spinner

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Re: Letters of complaint: Recorded or not?
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2014, 12:12:22 PM »
I generally go into my Den, shut the door and scream and rant for a while. Then I move on with my life. The frustration of dealing with complaints depts. just isn't worth the aggro for me. I guess that makes me a chump, but I've learned I just can't deal with these people calmly and rationally.  :'(
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Offline Reinardina

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Re: Letters of complaint: Recorded or not?
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2014, 12:29:30 PM »
I generally go into my Den, shut the door and scream and rant for a while. Then I move on with my life. The frustration of dealing with complaints depts. just isn't worth the aggro for me. I guess that makes me a chump, but I've learned I just can't deal with these people calmly and rationally.  :'(

That's exactly the reason I write. I can think what I want to say, have to say and how to say it. Compose a letter, rather than just write it.

Face to face, I am easily 'put off,' and forget to mention the most important things. Once I've written it down, and sent off, all the relevant facts are with the people who deal with it, and I find it easier to talk about it, if necessary. Also sticks in my mind better, once I've put it to paper.

I will not put up with something (a laptop in this case) that I cannot work with, because it constantly breaks down. I've paid money for it, and it has to work. I cannot afford to keep buying new things, while the old should still be functioning.
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