Complain with Class Got a cruddy product or bad service? Give 'em a fine whine!

Kid News

Just for kids

November 12, 1998|By Carol Monaghan | Carol Monaghan,Chicago Tribune

You pull your new shirt out of the store bag and notice a button is missing. What do you do?

You could sew on a replacement button. Or you could complain.

Consumer advocate Marti Ann Schwartz says kids shouldn't be afraid to complain. Schwartz, who heads a business called The Consummate Consumer, based in Beaverton, Ore., says: "Stores want to keep you satisfied. They're looking to you for a lifetime of purchases."

This doesn't give you a license to whine, though. "Don't threaten, be rude or use inappropriate language," Schwartz says. "You have to be calm. If you're loud, it'll give people an excuse to ignore you."

Here's what you do:

* Start by asking for a store or restaurant manager or someone in charge.

* Have a clear idea of what you want. "You may not want a replacement," especially if the product didn't work the way it was supposed to, Schwartz says. "Say you expect a refund."

* Bring your receipt and things will go more smoothly.

* Finally, Schwartz says don't ask Mom or Dad to do the complaining for you. Kids have clout, she claims. "When kids complain, people listen."

Pub Date: 11/12/98

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