Sunday, October 16, 2005

Mood: bitchy

Just shot off a couple of letters to companies I have a beef with:

1. Letter to TV Guide saying that their new format sucks* and is totally useless to me, and I will not be renewing my subscription. I ddn't actually request any restitution, I just wanted to let them know how much they suck*.

2. Letter to Toyota saying that I found out that when I bought the car at 47,000, it had never had the 30,000 transmission fluid change done. Since I purchased the car as a Certified Used Vehicle and they list “Vehicle professionally reconditioned to Toyota standards” as one of the top benefits for purchasing a vehicle as a Certified Used Vehicle, I had a reasonable expectation that necessary maintence would have been done before I purchased the car. Furthermore, the independant servicer who flushed the tranny fluid this time recommended I have it done again in 15,000 miles instead of the usual 30,000 miles, due to the poor condition. This is neglagence on Toyota's part, resulting in MY incurring the cost of a whole extra tranny flush, and I request either a reimbursement for my service, or an offer of no charge service the next time I need it done.

I may or may not get anything out of it. I don't care too much if I do, but I just wanted to bitch at them.

*I actually did not use the word 'sucks'.
I actually worded both letters quite politely. I have 12 years experience in reading letters from irate or otherwise displeased customers. If there's one thing I learned, is that you catch a lot more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Sometimes company policy does not dictate which way the response should go, and sometimes it will even lean away from the customer's demand/wishes. In cases where it was a judgement call, I was MUCH more inclined to help out a customer who politely and/or reasonably gave their point of view, rather than the one who was a total asshole.

Example: A broken TV remote control was sent in to be replaced. It was not covered by warranty. I sent an estimate for the replacement cost. Here are sample responses from customers:

Customer 1: Your Company sucks! This is a ripoff! I don't care if I dropped it in the fish tank and that's why it doesn't work, Your Company should give me a new one for free. I will never buy Your Company's products again, and I will tell everyone I know not to, either.

Customer 2: Dear ______, I received your estimate for the replacement remote. At this time, I cannot afford the new one because Christmas is coming and I need to get gifts for my grandchildren. Please send my old one back. Thank you for your time.

Now, GUESS which customer I fudged a date of purchase for, so that I could send a new remote to at no charge?

(And after she received the new one, she even sent another letter thanking us so much for the replacement. She was so suprised, we are so nice, etc.)

1 comment:

Jenn said...

I totally want you to send me further tips on writing those letters. I seem to be somewhat addicted to the process. And I tend to get good results so I think I do them well. But more tips would be great.

Oh, and Toyota (the company) sucks ass. They refused to give my friend the student rebate after she bought her car (as she had gotten her PhD not undergrad) but their policy didn't actually say that at the time. They've since changed their policy to only apply to undergrads. I bought a car from them, drove it home, had them phone me and say I needed a co-sign after all and all this other crap *AFTER I HAD BOUGHT THE CAR*. So I drove it back to them and returned it. Went across the street, bought another car, and drove by honking and waving.

Moral of this story - Toyota The Company Sucks Ass.