If you feel that you didn't get what you paid for or worse, that your rights as a consumer have been violated, here's how to defend yourself and seek compensation. By approaching the matter maturely and methodically (rather than kicking and screaming) you can increase your chances of receiving fair treatment.
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How to Protest and Complain to Receive a Refund

If you feel that you didn't get what you paid for or worse, that your rights as a consumer have been violated, here's how to defend yourself and seek compensation. By approaching the matter maturely and methodically (rather than kicking and screaming) you can increase your chances of receiving fair treatment.

Steps

  1. Know your issue. If you don't have a solid issue to complain about or you have asked for special consideration above and beyond normal procedure, you shouldn't complain if something has gone wrong. Know the business's policy and/or know the law that surrounds the issue you want to complain about. The worst thing that can happen is for a business to point out something in their policy that you didn't read or didn't follow. Worse yet is getting arrested for harassment.

  2. Write down your goal for the complaint or protest on a piece of paper. If your goal is revenge, you have officially made yourself too biased. You'll quickly be classified with customers who just have an axe to grind and your concerns will be seen as completely illogical.

  3. Be prepared. Dress nicely. Put on deodorant and fragrance of your choice. Do not wear a hat. Have a policy brochure with highlighted points on it. Find a pertinent law by using your favorite search engine.

  4. Stay calm. When complaining, the most important thing you can do is to be calm. A loud, irate person that is making other customers feel uneasy only serves to make your situation worse.

  5. Give the business three chances (without wavering or compromising from the goal you wrote down) to correct the problem. This usually follows the chain of command: Customer Service (cashier), Service Manager (supervisor), Store Manager.

  6. Take it to a higher level. If the complaint is not effective at the store level, calmly pick yourself up and tell the management that you will resolve the situation with corporate and leave the store. Find the corporate phone number and (if you have a cellphone) sit just outside of the store and immediately place your call to corporate. Explain your situation without embellishment. Tell them how much you shop at the store and about any rude or unreasonable personnel you've encountered. If no corporate structure is available, skip to the next step.

  7. Report the business.

    • Most legit businesses will respond to a Better Business Bureau report. Find the BBB that is local to the business you are complaining about. File an online complaint. Wait a few days to see if the business responds.
    • If no response from the business is made within 15 days, file a RIP-OFF Report.com report. This will let others know your experience.
    • Go to the Federal Trade Commission website and file an FTC Consumer Complaint.
    • See the Tips and External Links below for additional reporting options as well as website addresses.

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