Complaint about complaints – Help Us Help You!

The old complaint
form shown here was actually a pretty smart idea, as it walked people through
what was needed to handle their complaints.  
What we need
is an online equivalent to help online companies help those who have had
problems buying online.
This is a
huge departure from my normal blog topic, so let me back up, as you may wonder
why I’m writing this blog about complaints. 
In addition
to running my strategic consulting firm that specializes in distribution, I
have the pleasure of running one of the largest hotel sites in the
country.  And one of the things that I get to do as the CEO of the company
is to handle all of the written complaints and complaints that come through the
Better Business Bureau.
I am not
going to make this a commercial for that site, but suffice it to say that after
less than two years, we are in the Top 100 travel sites as reported by
Hitwise. 
[For anyone
that has tried to grow an online business you will understand the magnitude of
reaching that milestone in such a short period of time. ]
Back to the
topic of complaints.  Fortunately, out of tens of thousands of
reservations per month, we have only had a total of about 30 written complaints
in the 23 months that we have been in business.
Out of
those, a whopping 100% are missing some critical piece of information in order
for us to either research the problem or to contact them when we have resolved
their complaint (or if we need more information, which is most often the case).
Here are the
essential elements of a complaint about an online transaction. 
·     
Your
name and phone number in case we need more information.
·     
The
confirmation number.  If there are more than one numbers on the document,
include all relevant numbers (or better yet, just forward or include a copy of
the original confirmation in your complaint).  For hotel reservations,
there is often an itinerary number (internal to the retailer) and a hotel
confirmation number. 
·     
The
email that you used to make the reservation.  For our system, this is how
we retrieve the reservation.
·     
The
salient details of the complaint (normally the client is pretty good at this
one!)
I am going to
go out on a limb here and say that if you run an online site, you should
actually have a form on your website or a section where you tell people what
you need from the consumer in order to research a complaint.
If you are a
consumer, just know that we want to help.  We want to resolve
issues. 
Help us help
you!
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