Monday, December 10, 2012

I Need Your Opinion

On November 14th, in dealing with a company, I was brought to tears because of the way I was dealt with as a person with a disability. They had something I needed, as distinct from wanted, and as such I had to put up with an extraordinary, and unthinkable, amount of frustration. In the final moments, and this is rare for me, I broke down in tears. Joe watched helplessly as this all unfolded over a two hour period that I was on the telephone - mostly on hold. He, like me, couldn't believe what was happening.

I asked the woman if the call had been recorded.

She said that it was.

I told her that I was going to write in and make a serious complaint about the ordeal.

I don't think she cared all that much.

And, here's the thing, I didn't write.

I started to several times but every time I did, every time I realised the length of the story and the depth of my emotional reaction to it I simply pushed away from the computer. I couldn't do it. I let myself off the hook, as I normally chastise myself for not at least writing a complaint, because I felt emotionally traumatised by what had happened.

But today ... I started to think about it again. This time with less emotion as the distance, in time, has allowed me to see that I had every right to be frustrated and that what happened was simply outrageous. Simply. Outrageous. And I'm ready to write that letter.

But, I wonder ... is it now too far way from the event to matter? What is the shelf life of a complaint, a serious complaint? I don't know ...

I thought I'd ask you.

30 comments:

Rachel Douglas said...

Write. There are no rules. And if there are...you are the perfect one to break them. Do it.

Anonymous said...

It's not clear exactly who you are talking to, but when you have trouble with someone on the phone, ask for their supervisor. Sometimes it doesn't help, but often it does.

And no, it's not too late to write.

Sharon

Rikke said...

No expiry date - especially not when it is about something which caused you such a level of distress.

Belinda said...

A month hasn't gone by yet, but enough time to be sure of exactly what to say, and how. It's a good time to write.

Rachel said...

Definitely write. I think 6 months or a year would be too late, simply because staffing can change, details of what happened are foggy, a solution seems less possible. Less than a month? Not a problem. I think that if you couch your description of the situation in just the terms you used in this blog -- it reinforces the power of your complaint. Your desire to see things made right is bigger than the desire to let it go and spare yourself the revisiting of a miserable experience. If I were the management, I would respect someone who took the time and energy to write after the initial bloom of anger.

John R. said...

Write. I fully believe that by the fact you have reached out to us for opinion and validation of the experience as being wrong, bad and traumatic, I would imagine you will seriously regret NOT writing. I would suggest you do it when feeling a bit stronger and clearer. No shelf life here and at least you can have an on-record account of this complaint beyond a recording. I would also complain to any type of Better Business Association in the particular jurisdiction of this company. My two cents and I hope you get whatever it is you need, Dave.

Anonymous said...

Write away Dave - by all means. You could even say that you are writing some weeks after the event so clear heads could prevail. Be sure to say what it is you want, for example and apology or change of policy.

Just because you feel teary emotional about something doesn't mean the issue doesn't have strength.

You go for it - and let us know how it turns out.

Tamara said...

I agree with all those who have posted before me. Write.

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

I am voting for writing them. I do not think that it is too late.

If something can upset you that much then it needs to be addressed - when you are ready and not a moment before. And it sounds like you are ready.

Colleen

Anonymous said...

it is not too late. you can explain that it took you this amount of time to rationally think about it rather than wanting to emotionally react to the treatment that you received.

Glee said...

It's not too late Dave. :) All strength to you as you write it down cos it's a reliving of it and that's hard. This is why we do not make frivolous complaints as is sometimes insinuated.

gimptude.com said...

If it made you feel that bad, it's never too late.

Anonymous said...

I think you should write. If something has upset you that much, it needs to be addressed. Sometimes it just takes a bit of time to calm down so you can write more clearly and rationally. Sounds like you've taken that time, and now you're ready. It's not too late. You are a gifted writer, and I know you'll be able to find the words you need to adequately express your feelings and explain what you want to happen now. Definitely write.

Anonymous said...

An unresolved complaint has no shelf-life. Make the complaint. Because we tend to fade, quietly away, that's what enables them to continue.

liz said...

Write. If nothing else, it will make YOU feel better. And that's reason enough.

Anonymous said...

I vote with the rest -- write. A month is not at all an unreasonable delay.

I know there have been things that were upsetting to me at the time and for various reasons I didn't pursue a complaint (I have attention deficit disorder, which means it can be hard to push myself to do even tasks that really matter to me within a reasonable time frame, so that did not help). And I have regretted not making more of a complaint soon enough for some good to come out of it. Don't let this be your regret.

AkMom said...

Write.
You have waited until you could deal with it without emotions totally overtaking the point that NEEDS to be made.

Be strong, be direct, be honest.

And do it!!

Anonymous said...

"I started to several times but every time I did, every time I realised the length of the story and the depth of my emotional reaction to it I simply pushed away from the computer. I couldn't do it."
I so hear this. I was treated appallingly,and possibly illegally,by a solicitor I went to for needed help
and I still want to make a complaint nearly a year later but its still too raw and overwhelming for me to actually do it. If you can write now then do because many of us cant and change only happens when the bad is pointed out.

Laura said...

Definitely write, don't let them off the hook. I understand being moved to tears and the need to take some time to collect yourself and cool off but write, if it made you feel that bad it is so worth it!!!

Shan said...

Yeah, she didn't care about your threat because she knows for every 100 people who say "I'm going to write", maybe 2 do.

Sock it to 'em, Dave.

flemisa said...

A complaint is valid as long as it bothers you. Explain that it was delayed because of the strong emotional reaction, that further thinking solidified the idea that it should NOT have happened and it definitely deserves to be addressed. They may not have the recording but they need your words.

Anonymous said...

Write it now. You are in a better place to write from the head and not from just emotions. It will make more of an impact now.

Alice Fraggle said...

I work in customer service, so I would say that the sooner you write it the better, but the company I work for doesn't record calls, so I have to go by my memory of events. I think it's best to wait until emotions simmer down though, so if you feel better writing it now, then I think you should. Since you know your call was recorded it can be played back. I'd make sure you have the name of the CSR you spoke with along with the time and date of call. That will make finding the recording easier.
Good luck to you!

Jeannette said...

I agree with the other commenters who say "Yes, write. You're ready now."
In addition to the emotional satisfaction it will probably give you, consider that by writing, you may well change things -- or at least start the process of change -- for the next person in your circumstances who has to call those people.
Give 'em hell, Dave. You're just the person to do it. And we've got your back. (Along with Joe, of course.)

Rickismom said...

seems that it is unanimous (at least through now. Definitely not too late.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Thank you, the encouragement is really helpful. I was really worried I was too late. I'm writing and sending this week. It will take a couple of days to document.

Nan said...

Write.

Oh I so relate. Sometimes the writing takes just. so. much. energy. And gets you back to that emotional place again. Where you really really really really don't want to be. So. Sometimes you put the emotion aside and tell the story as if ANY body hearing it for the first time would just fume. But here you are writing it, NOT fuming, but telling the facts. A. B. C. Letting them figure out the emotions... Because, from what I can gather from what you say, you probably wouldn't have to tell them what you might be feeling . . . they will be feeling it themselves!

I figure it is NEVER too late to write!

Webster said...

I agree with everyone above: Write.

If anything, the lapse of time has given you pause to think of the truth of what transpired. What you write now will not be an angry, knee-jerk, complaint letter, but a well considered and meaningful reiteration of what transpired, which will, hopefully, be taken seriously. Good luck.

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Even if the call was recorded, it will only be kept a certain time. So I'd write as promptly as you can.
Sharon

wendy said...

I think you are well within a
reasonable time frame to complain. You can even say that you didn't write immediately because you were simply too angry/upset/traumatized to want to revisit it immediately.
Speaking as someone who once let something really big go because first it seemed too big and then it seemed too late, I can say that the regret has stayed with me.