How to Write A Complaint Letter: Follow Up

Image result for bad customer service

I don't like confrontation, and I try to go with the flow as best I can. The world is an imperfect place, but in general, it takes a lot to make me mad. It takes even more so to actually motivate me to complain about a service I've received. Until last month, when I learned How to Write A Complaint Letter

Due to a recent experience with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, (detailed here) I decided to research the best way to communicate my dissatisfaction with the company I had always loved and been loyal to. I didn't expect to hear back from anyone - but here's what came of it:

1) I followed the instructions I detailed in last month's article, and wrote my letter

2) I researched who to send the letter to. The Enterprise website had a generic customer service email option, but I did some further digging and found the names of the executives at the top of the company chain.

3) I waited about two weeks. After writing my letter, I waited a few weeks and then went back and re-read it to make sure it was focused on details, not drama. Finally, on a Thursday night at 9pm, I emailed the letter to those two execs, and went to bed. 

Less than 12 hours later, I received a phone call!! 

Image result for bad customer service

Just before 9am the following day, the area manager called me. She was professional, apologetic, and made it clear that she had heard my concerns. In a culture where sub-par customer service is becoming common, she took my side instead of defending the service rep (which is what I had assumed would happen). The manager spent some time listening to my experience, and assured me that they were very interested in keeping my loyalty.

As a result, I ended up with a free rental for the following week (I would be moving my oldest child to college), but at a different location, where the area manager assured me I would receive excellent customer care. And I did! When I went to rent the mini-van that was to move all of my son's belongings, the experience was like the ones I had always had in the past. The team was friendly, super helpful, and went above and beyond to make sure I was happy.

The bottom line:

It's worth writing a complaint letter. If nothing had come of it, I felt better even after writing it, so really it was a win-win.

And one additional lesson:

You never know what your research will find. When I began digging to find the proper channels to send my letter, I found out that the alternate rental car agency we had selected (Alamo) after our bad experience turns out to be owned by Enterprise, so essentially, they were getting our money anyway. Still, all is well that ends well, and I am once again a loyal Enterprise member.

Have you ever written a complaint letter? Did you get results? Let us know!

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