Holiday gifts can come with a hidden cost: a three-hour tech-support call to Bangalore. You can use GetHuman.com to help you bypass phone trees, but you still may languish on hold while waiting to speak to a rep (who may or may not agree to replace or repair your malfunctioning gift). Getting results takes tenacity … and a few dirty tricks.
- Go straight to webchat
Customer service typically comes in three varieties: phone, email, and webchat/instant message. A phone call may shunt you to Pakistan, and email exchanges could take weeks. Give chat a try: The support reps who manage it typically have better training (or at least better English) and usually work harder to help you.
- Share your pain on Facebook
Companies spend copious amounts of money to maintain a social network presence, and they hate having negative feedback there. A well-placed (and much-Liked) post on a company’s page can get a response in minutes from a panicked VP. (If your complaint is deleted—a common occurrence—pile it on and kvetch about that, too.)
- Tweet about it
Griping in 140 characters on Twitter may be easier for companies to ignore than a Facebook post, but it’s impossible for them to delete your tweets. Make sure to direct your wrath at the right @account and use a clever yet clear #hashtag. A single tweet won’t do—keep a running commentary of everything that transpires … until you get results.
- Make a YouTube video
If you have musical or directorial talents, turn your frustration into art. After four months of complaining to Tiger Airways about lost luggage, country singer Dale Watson uploaded a music video to YouTube about his plight and called out by name the PR reps who failed to help him. He soon got a $2,000 reimbursement.