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Consumer Attack! Taking on Corporations and Winning

Consumer Attack! Taking on Corporations and Winning

    Companies are replacing the old adage “the customer is always right” with “the customer is right, as long as it does not cost the company money or extra effort.” Customers are facing new policies that hamper, frustrate, and limit a customer’s ability and determination to process a complaint, request additional assistance, validate a warranty or receive support for services they have purchased.

    Overcome these barriers, by doing the necessary research, creating an action plan, and by presenting your case in a resolute and concise manner.

    Research

    Before doing anything, be realistic about the seriousness of your complaint. Do not spend days researching and preparing your case, when it is obvious that pursuing a resolution is a waste of your time.

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    If the issue is minor, or major, treat it as such. Your expectations can range from registering a complaint without any expectations of compensation, to the extreme of pursuing a legal settlement.

    Either way, all the relevant information you need will be available on the internet.

    Use the following sites to support your case:

    Resources to review:

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    • Internet forums – Use Google to search out references to similar complaints; these searches will usually lead you to online forums. Use the forums to ask for advice and learn how to resolve your complaint.
    • Disclosures – Some companies must offer a verbal or written disclosure to consumers. Both governments and industry groups can institute these policies and they are in place to protect the consumer, the company, and the industry. Ultimately, if a company does not offer a mandatory disclosure, they can be fined or shutdown for non-compliance
    • Contracts – Your contract will stipulate the specific details of your purchase. They outline the minimum responsibilities and restrictions a company and a client needs to adhere to when they enter into a legal agreement.
    • Government Customer Affairs / Customer Advocacy Groups – These sites list consumer protection polices for the individual States and Provinces in North America. These can include the maximum interest a company can charge on a loan or credit card, examples of dishonest business practices, and contact information to register an official complaint.
    • Class Action Suit – you may be one of hundreds of wronged customers. Moreover, there may be no other alternative other than becoming a plaintive in a mass suit and hope for the best.
    • Corporate Websites – Review what commitments the company has made to   their consumers, the community and shareholders. Also, compare the policies of the retailer and the manufacturer; then decide who is more likely to resolve your complaint.

    Depending on the region, there may be laws that give consumers a period of time in which they can review a contract and cancel the agreement without the fear of incurring any penalties or fees.

    In addition, omitting a necessary written or verbal disclosure during a purchase can invalidate a signed contract.

    It is critical that you create a secure folder that contains all your valid and current warranties, contracts, receipts and disclosures. Do not count on businesses to keep these types of documents on file.

    Plan of Action

    Take a moment to decide how you will present your case. Start by listing your strongest arguments and support your facts with any relevant information you have gathered from your research.

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    A written plan of action will keep you focused, calm, and keep your arguments concise and steadfast. Keeping your story straight is important, because you might have to repeat your story to several different people during the escalation of your complaint.

    Follow these tips before presenting your complaint to a company:

    • Present your argument to your friends and family. Ask for honest feedback and then use that information to decide if you are ready to move forward.
    • Construct a timeline by adding every relevant action taken by you, or the company since you made your complaint.
    • Show your appreciation to anyone at the company who offers to assist you, even if it does not resolve the issue. As you move forward with your complaint, they can become key contacts.
    • Create a list of two or three satisfactory resolution options and present them to the company.  The less wiggle room you give the company the better. Force them to work within your parameters.
    • Remind yourself over and over again of why you deserve a fair and equitable resolution

    Build up your immunity to corporate excuses:

    • Believe that you count, and your business is important to the company.
    • There is no harm in trying, and it is your responsibility as a consumer to fight for your rights
    • Ask for support from your friends or family. Receive moral support by having people sit beside you during a phone call and ask them to assist you in writing a letter.
    • Try to stay calm and strive not to take it personally. Getting upset will only make it harder to get a good outcome.

    Increasing profits and stock prices has become the driving force used in structuring a company’s philosophy and policies. As a result, resolving complaints can now become a form of trench warfare.

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    Counter these obstacles by presenting a case that demonstrates that you are dedicated, knowledgeable, and ready to negotiate a fair settlement.

    (Photo credit: consumers from Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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