Consumer advocates can help make you whole

Is your voice still not being heard?  Is the company giving you the run around or maybe even ignoring you?  Is the system they have in place leaving you in limbo? Have you now done some research and realized the company you are dealing with has a poor track record when it comes to making their customers whole?  Have they been flat out accused of being scammer?   It’s time to bring out the big guns.  You may want to enlist the help of consumer advocates and/or media representatives.

Remember to always try to get satisfaction on your issue by going through the standard support channels.  Give the company the benefit of the doubt, but when things start to go sour and you have given the company opportunities to correct the issue, you need to escalate further.

In some cases the threat of enlisting a consumer advocate or going to the media is enough for companies to pay attention.

In other cases, carbon copying an individual on an email or letter will prompt the company into action.  However, having someone with clout argue your case, when you can no longer progress will likely get results.

Do some research on consumer advocates in your area.  Also find out what newspapers or TV stations run segments on consumer protection.  Find their contacts and send them a concise and well documented story.  With my contacts, I can certainly help make your case and put pressure on companies who are unwilling to make you whole.  I have been inspired by the best.

~UPDATE: Ellen Roseman is now retired~

Among the best is Ellen Roseman.  You can read her Moneyville blog or her original blog. She is a consumer advocate and a Toronto Star writer.  She has contacts at many companies, and takes on many customer complaints (probably more than she should). 🙂

Ellen is tough but reasonable.  If she sees a customer that is plainly in the wrong, she won’t take up the case.  If a customer is being mistreated by a company, she steps up to the plate and evens the playing field.

I have been following Ellen’s blog and columns for quite some time and have only good things to say about how she has helped so many people who were stuck with no resolution to their problem.  Sometimes these individuals were out of pocket thousands of dollars, or the issue had dragged on for many months before she stepped in.

Readers:  Have you ever had to go this far with a company? Tell us your story.  Are there any other consumer advocates that have been particularly helpful?

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10 Responses to Consumer advocates can help make you whole

  1. anthony flint says:

    In a recent recall notice the mazda tribute SUV 2001-2002 models years was recalled for brake fluid leeks. I own a mazda tribute SUV 2003 model year and has the same
    mechanicle problems discribed in the 2001-2002 recall.
    How can I get the recall extended to my vehicle model year as it appears to have the same mechanicle faults as the listed recall but just not included!

  2. Nadine says:

    May 16, 2012

    Sir Hakim,
    Hakim Optical
    Head Office
    128 Hazelton Avenue
    Toronto, ON M5R2E5

    Dear Sir Hakim,
    I wrote to you on April 14 and as of this date, never received a reply to my letter. This is what I said. Right now I have to wear an old pair of Hakim glasses because your company will not repair the transition lenses glasses I purchased less than 3 years ago. They are sitting at your Finch and Tangiers store at this moment. Something has happened to the glasses I purchased from your Sheppard and Yonge Store and I cannot use them. The coating has disintegrated and smears around on the glasses causing scratches (they are scratch resistant supposedly) the degradation is leaving patches of uncoated and coated lens.
    Your employees are not a very good representation of old fashioned customer service your company boosts of and I am very upset with the attitude. If this is the way you would want your mother to be treated, your company is in trouble. I am a senior and when I pay a month in old age pension for glasses I expect them to work and become upset when I am told I have to pay again for something that is not my fault. All I asked is to have my glasses replaced so I can see again.
    I would appreciate you looking into this matter a.s.a.p. and get back to me as to what you can do to rectify this situation. A very disgruntled and long-time customer.
    Please would you arrange to have my glasses replaced as I am using my old glasses and getting headaches and sore red eyes. I am very uncomfortable and the longer you make me wait the worse it is getting.
    Yours truly,

    Nadine B.
    Address & Phone Redacted

  3. Support Spy says:

    @Nadine Hakim Optical is not known for the best customer service. In fact, I have heard many stories about their poor handling of customer cases. They aren’t big enough to have as many complaints as they get.

    You may want to try a few avenues to get some attention.

    The College of Opticians is required to investigate and respond
    http://www.coptont.org/complaints/process.asp

    You may also want to post on their Facebook wall with your experience. That may get some attention.

    If you are still not getting any joy, please let me know and I can help out.

  4. Frances says:

    Good morning. I came across posting here as a result of extreme frustration from a customer experience we’re having with Sears. A $2,500 sectional sofa was delivered to us last May 26,2012 with a missing leg. Since that day, we’ve called the Sears Customer Service line countlessly, as you can imagine. I just got off our nth call, and I was surprised to find myself sobbing at the end of that call. On paper, it doesn’t seem like a big  deal. But the fact is, we’ve been unable to sit on that sofa since we got it last May, for fear of voiding any warranties and because, how the heck do you that with one leg missing? We are unable to invite friends and family over either, as there’s no place to sit. Seems like such a small problem, and we fully elected Sears to resolve immediately. We were provided a work order (#196483) for reference. First, they sent the wrong part. Then, they confirmed their part was sent June 14. But oops, not really. It was actually sent June 18. Well, it’s June 24 now and the service rep’s still unable to give me tracking number. I complained that at this point, they should be couriering the missing part to us for same-day delivery, given all that we’d gone through. I just finished posting a complaint in their Facebook site, but other than that,  I  just don’t know where to turn to next. I don’t want to deal with customer service anymore., and we are seriously thinking of taking legal action.

    • Support Spy says:

      @Frances I’m sorry for your poor experience and understand the pain you are going through. This can feel like you are a hostage in your own home. I have been in contact with Sears and will update you soon.

      • Cav says:

        Hello,

        I am having trouble trying to severe a business relationship with Alarm Force. They are billing me for services not rendered, and have now sent my account to collections. Multiple attempts at resolving this issue with them have been fruitless. They have told me one thing on the phone, but refused to put it in writing.

        Their customer service is extremely rude and unprofessional.

        I have filed a formal complaint agaisnt them with the BBC. Just today they responded and told me they were unwilling to resolve the situation. Their nefarious billing and collections are now ruining my credit rating.

        On the BBB website, Alarm Force has over 200 complaints almost exactly like mine.

        Maybe you’ve heard if their shady business dealings before? It seems to be a business practice if theirs, rather than an isolated incident.

        They are billing me with almost $700 of charges for services NOT rendered. Services they themselves said they were terminating, but yet continued to bill for, even after repeated requests from myself to cancel my account.

        Please help, I know I’m not the only one who has fallen victim to this companies ham handed tactics!

        Cavell

  5. Ismail Sajjad Husain says:

    Hi,

    I purchased sofa and carpet from Lastman’s Bad Boy Brampton superstore in December 2012. I paid for my purchases in full already. The company delivered the sofa’s but still the carpet delivery is pending. Its April now. I keep calling them regularly and I even visited their store 3 times. I talked to senior manager as well but still no luck. They tell me they have the carpet in stock and will get it to me in a week time. Please can you help with this. Let me know if you need any more details. I have the invoice, billing all the information.

    Regards,
    Ismail S. Husain

  6. Henok Lulseged says:

    I purchased a three piece sofa set from Rooms furniture in Brampton they were supposed to make the delivery on December 16th, when the delivery arrived I noticed the sofas were not the ones I purchased but they were also damaged. Since than I have been to the store at least four times were they have made promises to deliver and they never did. I have talked to them more than ten times about this issue and they make promise and they never deliver. Today was the final straw they were supposed to come and pick up the wrong sofas they delivered and refund me back in full they did not show up and also they have stop answering my phone calls. If you need any thing at all contact me I have my invoice.

  7. Our 2 1/2 year old Volkswagen Golf has been in VW’s hands 4 times for the same problem, is now in for the 5th and they are now telling us it is out of warranty and we have been without the car for three weeks while they try to figure out what is wrong with it (and no replacement car).

    A fuller story is posted at the website above.

  8. james Downie says:

    in early Sept signed with Bramatelecom for tv,internet and phone services to begin Oct.7 cancelled services with Rogers for Oct.6 Did not receive phone and internet modems until Oct.17.Did not get hooked up by Bell until Oct. 24.Received tv modem until Nov.3 Had a call from their finance dept and agreed to start billing date Dec.3 having already paid the 237$ for modems and first months billing.Found payment pulled Dec.1November TV modem went down early Nov.30.Have phoned and emailed several times,no response yet it says on their website they will get back to you in minutes.Also their website says 905 not a valid area code and online request rejects email address,yet emailed payment?

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