On July 30, I ordered an ink cartridge for our printer. I decided to purchase the product on-line, which I thought would deliver the toner more quickly than I could pick one up. A few days later, we received the cartridge; however, it was missing a small piece and was thus unusable. We contacted the company, who mailed a replacement on August 13. When two weeks went by without receiving the item, I finally called to inquire about my order. Talk about getting the run-around. It was very frustrating, especially as the call was made on my own dime. I'll spare you additional details, but I had to make a second call on September 5--five weeks after my original request--and still nothing. Apparently, the package was lost in the mail, but the matter was handled in what I considered to be an unprofessional manner. I shared my frustration, thanked them for the effort that was made, and asked for a refund. I just hope the refund comes through!
I recently received a notice that one of the frequent flier programs I belong to adopted a new miles expiration policy. For those of us who are not travelers logging several flights a year, this strict enforcement (18 months with no activity) is a real discouragement. I e-mailed the customer service department, informing them of my disappointment in their decision. They sent a cordial reply, detailing several ways in which I might extend my miles through affiliate purchases, etc. I am thankful that some programs, such as Northwest's Worldperks, are much more user-friendly--Worldperks miles do not expire, and they are also transferable to family and friends.
Sometimes I hesitate to express my discontent with the service I've received. It can be difficult to temper one's, um, temper in a situation that has not been handled well. I try to be as diplomatic as possible, and when applicable, to offer thanks for some aspect of the service that has been appreciated.
I know my sister has bravely posted some of her own such correspondence. As with so many things in life, I find it difficult to find the right balance. In these cases, I want to be firm and direct, yet handle it with grace. I hope I've done so.
*I wrote a draft of this post a couple of days ago. Since then it has occurred to me that I took the time to address these minor personal "injustices," yet rarely have I been a voice for much more significant issues going on in the world. It's food for thought for me as I consider what that might look like. I did not receive any tangible benefit from speaking up in the above situations (neither company went above and beyond to remedy my discontent), but I hope I will make more of an effort to look outside of myself and speak on behalf of those who truly need it.