Skunkgal - Too Much Skunk In Your Junk

Archive for August, 2010

the art of the corporate complaint letter

today i was in quite the mood and decided to send letters of complaint to dirt devil and whole foods. the former made an expensive vacuum that died on me after 3 years, and the latter sold me a red bell pepper that was moldy on the inside.

below is my vague formula for writing short and hopefully effective complaint letters. we’ll see if it works.

first start i start with the facts. when i bought it, and what was wrong:

Hi, I bought a red bell pepper this past Sunday 8/8/2010, and cut it open to find mold in the top and bottom on Tuesday 8/10/2010. I kept the vegetable refrigerated the entire time. Here are some pictures:

mold!

more mold

i like this approach because it is straightforward and it makes you seem like you won’t take sh*t from anyone. the dates make you seem professional (lawyerly maybe? don’t F w/ a lawyer), and i always try to include a picture because i think it signals that you mean business. when using one of the forms embedded on their site, i usually upload pics into flickr and add the URL so they can click to it. i also think this is probably effective b/c it signals that you know how to use the internet and can yelp the crap out of them if you wanted to.

anyway, next is the second and last part where you simultaneously praise the company, express your deep disappointment, and invoke the competition. and then you add the plea for help.

I was very disappointed by the quality of the pepper I bought the other day. The produce section is one of the main reasons I enjoy shopping at Whole Foods, but if problems like the one I’ve just encountered persist, I won’t hesitate to switch vendors. Please let me know how to proceed.

my end goal is to invoke fear on many levels. fear of my competence and persistence. a dangerous combination in an unhappy customer. i hope to get a response by the end of the week.