As you may have quessed...I am a letter and email writer and phone caller to complain and compliment about things in life (the grocery clerk texting while he's helping me, the kids' yogurts that fall out of the package immediately, the fabulous meal I just ate). I think my teaching background makes me feel like I need to give and receive feedback. I write to my elected officials about how I feel about issues...they are representing me and they should know how I feel. When I am paying money to a business for service or products, I believe I deserve the most for my money. When products or services fall short...I think the company should know so they can improve themselves and thus be more successful. I am not out to get people fired...I rarely remember names of my kids let alone sales clerks.
So...this week...I had two particular consumer victories.
First, half of my contacts in my last box I had ripped. I thought this was odd since I've been wearing contacts since I was a kid and had never had this happen. Additionally, I paid for these and I prefer to use them instead of throwing them away. And...I wanted to let the company know my experience in case something was wrong with the lot or something. So...I emailed over their online comment page. I was very quickly called and after talking with someone for a little bit they thanked me for letting them know and would look into the problem...and they sent me a new box of contacts.
Secondly, we had quite an unpleasant experience at a campus restaurant. Since the place is owned by a larger corporation, I wanted to let the bosses know what this location was doing and how bad I thought it was. I found out that they have had many problems here and are taking steps to fixing it...and would we like some complimentary meals...sure, thanks.
Its not about free products (although I will gladly accept)...its about improving services so that my experience is better (and everyone else's...consumers and businesses). And, in general, I have found that businesses like to know how the consumer is feeling...good and bad. And now with the inter-web...many places have email addresses or online comment forms that you can fill out (I often get a phone call back). This is great because you can state your opinion on your own time (not with a screaming toddler who is sad the store is out of chocolate milk) and you can do it without a face-to-face, time-consuming confrontation, if that is not your thing.
We are a consumer-based society....feedback is a good way to make it the best it can be! Speak up!
**Most grocery stores and other larger stores, in our area at least, have a website at the bottom of your receipt to fill out a quick survey about your visit. Complete it and most enter you in a raffle for free products or gift cards.