The art of complaining

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At the moment I am in the middle of an on-going complaint with a big multi-national company. I won’t name them or say what the complaint is about but I do think the art of complaining is like the art of negotiation.

In every negotiation the key is to remain calm. It is only by remaining calm that you put over your argument clearly and thoroughly. By keeping calm you also keep your position strong. People will be more likely to deal with you and help you if you remain calm.

Resolutions

When complaining you need to know what your ideal resolution is and what the resolution you would settle for is. When complaining someone can offer you a number of different resolutions, but during this process, if there is something you want, you have to keep remembering what it is you want or else you will settle for something less and be dissatisfied with the outcome.

Politeness doesn’t cost anything but can get you a long way. When you deal with someone either over the phone or face-face, there will be many different actions this person can take. The more polite you are when you complain, the more likely you are to get them to take the action, which is the best they can do for you. If you are rude to someone that you want to help you, the chances are that they won’t try as hard to help.

Keep on top of things

Be organised! Write down all your points of complaint and the reasons for them when you start. After you have that, make sure you keep a track of all correspondence to do with your case. It is important that you are aware of everything that has been said and refer to it wherever possible. The more you can keep to the facts and the history of the case, the more pressure you can put on someone to do something about your case.

Know your position, your rights and your argument. When complaining about something the person or company you are complaining to will normally have a get out clause. If they do, you will have to make sure your argument is strong and compelling enough to make them act. When you deal with a company you need an angle and you need to work it. Whether it be attacking their customer service, quality of product, quality of service or the potential damage to the company brand.

Get legal

Not all clauses companies put in are legally binding and some can’t be upheld. So don’t let a clause put you off in the T’s and C’s. My advice would be to speak to someone in the legal profession and get a legal opinion. If you can quote the law correctly in your argument, it might be enough to make a company reconsider their position.

My advice when you complain would be to never give up and if one approach isn’t working, keep trying others until something works. Bad news travels fast in this world and not many companies want bad news associated with them so keep that in mind.

Why?

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I think one of the greatest internal battles in life is trying to figure out ‘why’. Why you think the way you do? Why do you feel the way you do? Why things have happened to you? Why you are living where you live? `Why you enjoy the things you do? Why you do the things you do? Etc. etc.

Some of these maybe easy to answer but some you can wrestle with for a while and not come up with an answer. On the journey that is life, we make millions of decisions that get us to where we are and where we go, this is why I think it is important to understand as many of the ‘whys’ as possible. The more ‘whys’ we understand the better the decisions we can make, the less time we will waste and the more hope we can build for the future.

Understanding

The human mind is a complex thing and trying to figure it out is a daunting challenge but the more we understand our own mind the better our lives can be. It is important to understand where we can, how events that have happened to us or around us have affected us. The quicker we can work out how an event has affected us the less likely we are to make a bad or wrong decision because of it.

I think it is also important to look at why other people do the things they do. If you can get to the route and to the why, the more you can help someone and the better you can understand them. It is important that we as a world become slower to judge others and quicker to consider their life, where they come from and what they have been through.

Delve deeper

Sometimes in life we just get caught up in looking at what is happening instead of why it is happening. To understand the world around us we can’t just be headline readers, we need to delve in to the stories with that inquisitive mind-set of looking for the ‘why’ in the story.

The battle of learning the ‘whys’ is a battle of becoming less affected by the world and becoming more in control of your own life and actions. By being aware of why you do the things you do, it will hopefully make you less impulsive and help you make decisions that you truly want to make, decisions that are best for you and the people around you.

Advice

My advice this week would be – don’t let your life pass you by without asking yourself ‘why’ once in a while. A lot of the answers to questions, which begin with ‘why’, will unlock a lot of future happiness in your life. Sometimes it is a hard process to get to the route of the why and the answers you find can challenge you on many levels but going through this process is an important step in understanding your life, which is one of the most powerful things you can do.