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Who to call when business goes bad

Who to call when business goes bad

Poor customer service.  Lousy food.  Overcharges.  Lost orders.  Rude managers.  Unanswered phone calls.

We've all been there.  A bad experience with a business can be a very frustrating experience.  In a world where we've grown so accustomed to having our needs met quickly and efficiently, it is now especially alarming when goods or services fail to meet expectations.  Here's some strategies for recourse when things go wrong:

  • Follow the chain of command...starting with who made the first mistake.  Be polite:  oftentimes, an employee doesn't even know a mistake was made, and would appreciate being told, if only to not repeat it in the future.  If no resolution can be found there, it's appropriate to (politely) ask for a manager.
  • Unfortunately, working directly with the business doesn't always end up being be helpful.  If the problem simply results in your dissatisfaction as a customer, you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, who grades businesses based on their ability to remedy customer complaints, and will occasionally intervene on behalf of consumers.  You can also contact us at the Chamber.  However, know that we do not have any regulatory authority:  if we have a contact with a business, we can only forward along concerns to them, making them aware in case there is a pattern of customer dissatisfaction.  Ultimately, we leave it to the business to determine corrective action.
  • If you believe you've been the victim of a scam or fraud, contact local law enforcement.  If you suspect that your experience might be part of more widespread criminal activity, you should contact the North Carolina Attorney General's office.  If you're unsure if the business is legally allowed to operate, you can also contact the North Carolina Secretary of State's office.

One final tip...use caution when posting complaints or dissatisfaction to social media.  Oftentimes, in the court of public opinion, disgruntled customers do more to tarnish their own reputation than that of the business who wronged them.

Bottom line:  everyone deserves respect.  We're all entitled to a bad day once in a while.  When we're all committed to treating each other with dignity and professionalism, we can make those bad days a little better, and perhaps help a business grow their customer service capabilities along the way.

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