How to complain and get results

If you feel you have more to complain about these days, you may be right.

The products we use are increasingly complex, which often means they have more ways to malfunction. Companies are still struggling to hire and retain workers, so the customer service representatives who are supposed to help you may not know how. And that’s if you can even get through to a human being after navigating websites, automated chatbots and phone systems that seem designed to thwart you at every turn.

“You’re searching for where to call. Once you get through, you’re going to yell ‘agent!’ in the phone 12 times, and then they send you to the wrong place,” says Scott M. Broetzmann, chief executive of research firm Customer Care Measurement & Consulting in Alexandria, Virginia.

On average, customers made 2.9 contacts with a company while attempting to resolve problems, according to the firm’s 2020 National Customer Rage Study, which polled 1,026 consumers about problems with products or services in the past 12 months. A whopping 58% of respondents who complained got nothing — zero, zilch — as a result of their efforts. So perhaps it’s not surprising that 65% of those who had a problem experienced consumer rage. In my latest for the Associated Press, learn how to complain and get results.

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