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Effective Complaining: Hit Credit Cards, Not Banks

Posted By Jim On 06/02/2008 @ 1:00 pm In Personal Finance | 2 Comments

On Sunday, I reviewed Gotcha Capitalism [3], a powerful and comprehensive guide for consumers, and gave it glowing reviews. Today, I want to talk about a couple stats Bob Sullivan shares with the reader about complaining to companies and success rates (Keep in mind that the book was published in 2007).

The point of the section was to illustrate that the places where you are more likely to succeed are exactly the places that people don’t try. The success rate at a grocery store is 57.1% but only 14% of people ever try, whereas the success rate with a television company is an abysmal 20.2% yet 84% of people complain. If you want to make the most out of your time, go after credit card companies. Ask to have fees removed, refunded, or waived [4] because you’re such an awesome customer.

Here are the numbers:

  1. Credit card companies: 64.6% success rate
  2. Airlines: 60.0% success rate
  3. Grocery stores: 57.1% success rate
  4. Retirement: 52.2% success rate
  5. Internet: 51.5% success rate
  6. Hotels: 37.0% success rate
  7. Banks: 33.3% success rate
  8. Insurance: 28.9% success rate
  9. Cell Phones: 26.8% success rate
  10. Television: 20.2% success rate

Here are the rates at which people actually complained:

  1. Television: 84% complaint rate
  2. Credit card companies: 79% complaint rate
  3. Cell Phones: 71% complaint rate
  4. Hotels: 54.0% complaint rate
  5. Insurance: 38% complaint rate
  6. Internet: 33% complaint rate
  7. Retirement: 23% complaint rate
  8. Banks: 18% complaint rate
  9. Airlines: 15% complaint rate
  10. Grocery stores: 14% complaint rate

If you have all the time in the world, complain to everyone!

(Photo by aturkus [5])


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[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/effective-complaining-hit-credit-cards-not-banks.html

[3] I reviewed Gotcha Capitalism: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/review-gotcha-capitalism-by-bob-sullivan.html

[4] Ask to have fees removed, refunded, or waived: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/always-ask-to-have-a-fee-refundedwaived.html

[5] aturkus: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aturkus/299122321/sizes/s/

Thank you for reading!