A lot people tend to get carried away when they lodge a complain. Remember to be calm and straight to the point.

AS a consumer advocate, it is time for consumers to learn how to make an effective complaint and get redress.

Bear the following in mind :

IT has worked for me as a consumer advocate, as I write on consumer matters often. Make your letter brief and to the point. The letter should contain facts about your purchase.

FIRST, describe your purchase, including product or service, such as serial or model numbers or type of service;

INCLUDE the date you made your purchase and the location of the store;

STATE what you feel should be done about the problem and how long you are willing to wait to get the problem resolved;

MAKE sure you are reasonable in requesting an action;

INCLUDE copies of any documents regarding your problem, such as receipts, warranties, repair orders and contracts.

BE reasonable, not angry or threatening, in your letter. Remember, the person reading your letter may not be responsible for your problem, and can help resolve it.

FINALLY, keep copies of your complaint letter and documents for your own record. You may want to send a copy of the letter to the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca).

If you are unsuccessful in getting your complaints resolved and must contact other sources for assistance, refer to your letter.

Remember that if you have to contact other sources, such as the Better Business Bureau, or a trade association, be sure to give information about what you have done to get your complaint resolved.

You may also write to the Prime Minister’s Department for it has a bureau for consumer complaints. It is managed well, if I may say.

Bulbir Singh

Seremban, Negri Sembilan

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