Innovative ways for customers to complaint helps

Yesterday, I received a call from a freind and client who has read my book titled “Customer Math.” His company is building a new automobile showroom in Delhi and he was having trouble getting the vendor from whom he is purchasing the lift to respond to him. He finally got tired of calling him and adopted the method that I had adopted with a newspapers some years back, that is, write him a letter “Gandhigiri” style. I am reproducing parts of the letter with the theme “I apologize” below which I wrote to the newspaper:

“ . . . I was made to feel that I was not welcome and that I should leave as early as possible. I was made to feel that I had made a mistake by becoming your customer. As such, I would like to sincerely apologize to you for being your customer. Since you are . . . , I do not have much choice but to release my advertisements in your newspaper. As soon as other viable media is available, I promise I will stop being your customer. In the meantime, I promise that I will make sincere efforts to avoid being your customer.

I apologize for depositing money in advance for release of the advertisements. I apologize for not being an accredited agency in which case, I would have been expected to pay you in 45-60 days; I apologize for paying you in advance.

I apologize for asking for refunds which are more than two months old . . . apologize for thinking that refunds should be made earlier than the 2/3 months that you take now.

I apologize for demanding good quality reproduction of my advertisement in your newspaper. Based on a commitment made by you, I made my client spend another Rs 50,000 for releasing an advertisement, and you didn’t keep your commitment. I am placed in an embarrassing position. Still, why should I think that I deserve any better? I shouldn’t. I apologize.

I apologize for writing letters and reminders to your office just because I have the spare time. I apologize for expecting a reply to any of my letters.

And lastly, I apologize for taking the time to write to you that I am a dissatisfied customer and that I could be representing at least 23 other dissatisfied customers.”

Now my freind told me that he used the above concept with a slight change in the theme. His theme was “I thank you.” He told me that he received a quick response with the vendor apologizing profusely and promising to settle all pending issues quickly.

Today, it is increasingly becoming important that dissatisfied customers not only complain but complain in an innovative manner to get through the clutter. My innovative letter with the theme “I apologize” resulted in my receiving a benefit of reprinting an advertisement worth Rs. 50,000. Also, about a year back after having trouble with my HP laptop, I decided to return the lemon laptop to the CEO of Hewlett Packard India (HP). End result – HP fixed my laptop free with a 3 month warranty for which they had sent me a repair estimate of Rs. 23,000.

As result of my experience, I have developed 25 different complaint cards “Gandhigiri style” which dissatisfied customers can send to the senior executives of the defaulting companies to convince them to resolve your complaint quickly and in your favor. These cards are based on the concepts and thoughts presented in my three books on customer satisfaction and retention. You can send a series of these cards to the defaulting company and I am quite sure you will get positive response. For more details about the cards, tips on how to complain and to log you complaint, visit my website

So remember, like in everything else, innovation does help. And if you do adopt a innovative method to get your customer complaints resolved, do share with us.

avinash narula

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Excellent Customer and consumer complaint help site. Also doing very good work to provide solutions to dissatisfied customer. Also, has excellent books, posters, coffee mugs related to customer satisfaction and retention. Excellent articles on the subject also available on the website.


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