Use the Interwebs to Get Your Way

Posted in Business, People by Harsha on December 4, 2011

To those who think they don’t have a voice (at least in the United States), think again. Christopher Null penned this great how-to in WIRED’s recent issue. As my part, I wanted to assure you that it is neither impractical, nor difficult to do what he says. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as the old saying goes, and so here are a few examples of what Chris is talking about.

I have three great examples to share about how I got three big companies to listen to me. It took almost no effort (considering what I would have had to do in pre-internet days) coupled with a bit of social media savvy. My successes included Chris’s Twitter suggestion, in addition to using email and my blog as a way to gripe and to get what I wanted.

The first and my most memorable experience was with Bank of America. I wrote a few posts about it, so read the before first, then a quick update during the resolution process, and after my problem was resolved. I got a cool $50 gift card to out of it. By reading the posts, you can pick up a very easy way of harnessing the power of “we” to get your way.

The second experience was with Best Buy. I have not blogged about it yet because it sort of moved really quickly, via Twitter. If you follow me, then I think you should be able to see my tweet from 2010. Essentially, I did what Christopher suggests in his article. Briefly, this is what happened:

I had purchased a TV from a Best Buy store where the sales representative assured me it was Wi-Fi enabled. But of course, when I got home, unwrapped and installed the TV, it turned out to be Wi-Fi “unabled”! I had plugged in a Samsung wireless dongle as it is known, to the new TV, which did not work. So I re-wrapped the TV and returned it. But I ended up leaving the dongle inserted into the TV and realized it after the fact. When I called the store, they checked and said that they did not find it still plugged into the side of the TV. Now mind you, I am a “silver level” member (or something like that) at Best Buy because I had spent over $2500 with them in one year. I took to Twitter with my gripes, used @bestbuy and lo and behold! I quickly heard from one of their social media watchers. She did some investigating, called the store etc., and then decided to send me a Best Buy gift card worth $80 to make it up to me.

The third experience was one that my wife had with DSW Shoes. She had recently tried to use a $30 DSW coupon on their website, but it did not work. The coupon was due to expire that same day, so she emailed them to complain. Guess what happened next? She got that coupon back, in addition to another $20 coupon that had expired a couple of weeks earlier. In addition, they sent her another $10 coupon in the mail with a letter of apology. To top it all, she received additional regularly scheduled coupons bringing her quite a good haul.

So thank you Chris for not only a great reason for me to restart my blog, but for also providing readers with a realistic how-to on getting one’s way with big companies