Photo courtesy of www.stopcorporateabuse.org

Photo courtesy of www.stopcorporateabuse.org

As a consumer driven society, businesses thrive and die based on which businesses we put our money toward. While businesses can be big conglomerates or small mom and pops, no matter what, they depend on us consumers to stay open. If no one bought their product, they would have to close up shop. This gives us tremendous power over businesses. Don’t just stop there though. Not only can your choices of what you buy influence businesses, but also your comments and complaints. It’s your money, so make sure you use it as well as you can for yourself.

Spend your money at the businesses you like
There are so many businesses out there vying for the chance to take our money. We all have certain businesses we like better than others. Favorites based on the business practices, the products they sell, or their customer service. I tend to frequent businesses that have earth-friendly policies and products plus good customer service. Those factors might not be prime factors in why you would give a business your money though.

Sometimes its a good idea to really check out the places you are spending your money. Do they treat their workers well? Where do they get their products? Do they have good customer service? Doing so will mean you are putting your hard earned money to businesses that deserve it. Everybody has their own priority list, but the best way to support a business is obviously to do it monetarily. No business thrives on good thoughts alone.

Spread the word, bad and good

One of the first things I do before trying something new is ask my family and friends about it. have they ever tried it before? If so, did they like it or not? Word of mouth is still very alive and can travel even faster with the amount of ways we have to communicate today.

Another power you get as a consumer is being able to spread the word quickly. You can influence others with your view on the business and the products they make. It’s said that if you have a bad experience, you’ll tell 10 people about it. Good experiences, on the other hand, reach fewer people. As human beings, we tend to talk about the bad more than the good. That’s why it’s so important to try to tell more people about the good businesses. Doing so will support them and allow them to thrive.

File a complaint if the product isn’t to your liking
Definitely don’t just sit back and do nothing if the product isn’t to your liking! That’s your money that you spent, and if the product isn’t up to your standards, then do something about it! It may result in just time wasted on your part, but mostly, I’ve found companies respond quickly to any complaints. Try returning it to the store first. If that doesn’t work, then reach out to the company. Many companies have policies in place where if you are not satisfied they will offer you a refund. Not all companies can do that though, but if you try, they will do their best to satisfy you.

Take advantage of multiple ways to communicate
With traditional customer service taking a nose dive the last few years, there are other ways to contact a company. These methods include email, chatting online with a rep, and social media. Try the method that feels the most comfortable to you first. If you’re not satisfied, then try a second one. I’ve had varying results trying all the different methods. Sometimes a company will have a horrid automated phone service which results in no live human beings. Other times, I get someone right away! Emails are sometimes answered, other times a response never comes back. Some companies have an online chat where you can resolve things. This one is still rare. The newest one is social media. Companies definitely don’t like negative publicity and will try to resolve the issue with you if you go this route. This works best for companies that are active on social networks though.

Your spending money can go a long way towards supporting the businesses you like! Spend your money wisely and always make sure the company is legit before making purchases! It is especially important these days with so much online shopping. It helps to research a new company before you buy in case anything happens with your product. You don’t want to be stuck paying for something that never shows up or comes broken or not as listed.

How do you flex your consumer muscles? What is your best experience with a business?


2 Comments

  1. Posted June 21, 2013 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    I often have a hard time complaining about poor service or a product that I didn’t like. Even though it is my money and I’m not getting the most out of it in that instance, I still struggle with complaining. It is something that I need to personally work on. Good Tips! Thanks!
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    • TeenyGreen
      Posted June 21, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      It’s definitely something I’m not entirely comfortable with either, but I’ve gotten used to it! I’ve learned that if you don’t speak out, then nothing happens. If you do, then usually you’ll get a good response! At the least, you’ve tried!

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