Caring, Influencing, triberr, Uncategorized

12 most civil ways to complain online

Featured image courtesy of Denis Dervisevic licensed via Creative Commons.

Janet Fouts has written a wonderful post urging us to avoid using social media as a weapon and it got me to thinking about our new powers and their misuse. Social media has empowered us as individual consumers like never before. With this empowerment comes the realization that our online voices, both individually and collectively, can bring harm.

We need to be mindful of how we use our newfound power because with power comes added responsibility — to be civil and do no harm, to avoid bullying and to give people their day in court. These are values that inform our civil society and should also inform our online behaviour.

But sometimes, things just don’t go right out there. The food is terrible. The product arrives broken. The customer service person is insulting. Or the airline busts the custom-made guitar you need for your next gig. Every day, there are a host of legitimate grievances.

Here are 12 suggestions of the most civil ways to complain online when confronted with this wrong-doing:

1. Never send email when you’re angry

First, breath.

2. Write down all the details

Now that you’re breathing, start by drafting your complaint in as much detail as you can remember. Then, sleep on it. When you awake, review your comments and see how they feel in the light of day. Have you been reasonable, rational and fair-minded? Try not to rant.

3. Know what you want

Decide what consideration you expect to receive. Do you just want a sympathetic hearing or do you want/need an apology? Do you want to be credited a payment? Or do you expect all of the above AND a brand new guitar?

4. Put it in writing

Deliver your complaint in writing via a direct channel supported by the party that aggrieved you. Send an email. Fill out a web form. Or pick up the phone and find out where you should send your written complaint.

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