Nine Ways to Get Your Complaint Heard - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Nine Ways to Get Your Complaint Heard

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Ever feel like you just didn't get what you paid for?  Savvy shopper or not, it's likely happened to all of us.  The question is, what's the best way to get satisfaction?

Satisfaction is exactly what Columbus resident Wynona Sanders has been hoping for. Back in January, she bought a product she saw on television called the Magic Jack.

"Unlimited calling, long distance, local service, voicemail, caller i-d."

 For $39 up front and only $19 a year, that's what Sanders says she thought she was getting with the Magic Jack.

However, shortly after getting the package in the mail, Sanders realized it wasn't compatible with her older computer.

"I wanted to talk to a real person about cancelling the contract and sending their merchandise back to you and refund my money," explains Sanders.

Sanders says that never happened. Magic Jack's policy states the product must be returned within 30 days of the purchase.  Sanders says she exhausted that time looking for someone to talk to.

Newsleader 9 talked to a Magic Jack spokesperson who says the company doesn't offer live help, only customer service online.

"I'm still stuck with it not using it, can't use it and at the beginning of the year, January, they're gonna be billing my account," Sanders says.

It may not be the Magic Jack, but plenty of consumers can relate to Sander's story.   So how do you get satisfaction?

Following these tips may just help:

  • If you purchase a product in person, take it back to the store.

         Even if it states to only return it to the manufacturer, it's at least worth a try.

  • Get technical help. 

        You may be able to resolve the problem without sending it back.

  • Negotiate with the manufacturer. 

       This could mean asking for free return shipping, a replacement or of course your money back.

  • Contact consumer help. 

      Places like the Better Business Bureau are often a good place to start.

"Our objective is to re-establish a position of trust between the company and the customer," says local Better Business Bureau President Leonard Crain.  He also adds that filing a complaint with the BBB is free.

  • Keep a paper trail.

"In case it does get to a legal circumstance or legal venue, then you have all of those things written down, who you talked to, when you talked to them, the times the product failed, the service is not rendered," adds Crain.  

  • Call you credit card company.

       After you've exhausted all other options, you might be able to get a chargeback.

  • Think twice before you buy.

Sanders says this could have saved her money and trouble in the long run.

"That should have sent off a red light that saying no, that's too good to be true," says Sanders.     

  • Contact the consumer affairs office in your state.

      There are instructions posted online for how to file a complaint for residents in Georgia and Alabama.

  • Post complaints online.

      There are often review sections on company websites that sell products.  Plus, there are sites like consumeraffairs.com that file complaints, especially those with a pattern.

   
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