The Customer is always...

I have the English trait of not liking to complain, moan or make a fuss about anything. It usually has to be something very harrowing to make me complain, even then usually quite politely. I don't even like the word 'complain' itself; think about it, it makes the person feel like a whiner. “I am complaining about this or that". Not saying that "Hey this is wrong" or any such decisive or direct wording, the term sounds vague and can immediately put the respondent on the defensive foot, which isn't good as far as effective communication goes. A 'complaint' sounds to me something abstract that is dealt with, talked down, manoeuvred out of, or resolved for the group or individual, but does a complaint actually lead to policy changes of whatever is being brought up?

I bought an item from a well-known retailer and when I got home, unpacked and checked the parts, two minor items were missing. So trivial they could be bought in any hardware store in fact. But I called the missing parts hotline (just out of principal) but the parts could not be posted to me. The rep said it was wrong but there was nothing he could do about it, apart from recommend I return it to the store, which would be a very lengthy and out the way process, or buy my own parts. The climate of 'complaining' and 'all calls are recorded' meant that the guy was more focused on reading out what 'customer actions' he had taken to help me; by informing me it wasn't available. He was more focused typing loudly into his log to 'resolve customer complaint' than sending me the missing item.

I think when you're 'complaining' about something, you're not actually complaining, you're just letting someone know you just want to be listened to and something done about it.


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