I received a voice mail yesterday from the station I blogged about earlier. I called the gentlemen back just now and we had a very terse conversation. It was mostly one-sided, because I was actually quite calm. His main problem was that he didn’t like my tone.
On multiple occasions, I tried explaining that the reason for my tone in that email was due to the fact that on two occasions, I contacted them via their web form and heard nothing back. I was cut off and told “I don’t see what that has to do with this.” I pressed further, and was going to explain that if you provide people with an avenue to contact you and there is no response, they tend to get mad. But, I was cut off again and we’ll have the discussion in person tomorrow, and he said that I’d get a refund. I do have to bring my bill from the Capitol Hill Exxon to prove that it was indeed a botched repair attempt.
Now, if he responded and asked for this via email based on my initial two attempts to contact them via the web form, I could have sent him a .pdf of the Exxon bill in no time flat and no time would have to be wasted in person haggling and getting angry. But no, rather than the easy route, I will have to drop by and do this tomorrow in person. It will be awkward, but I will hopefully get my $135 back.
The bottom line is: don’t offer people avenues to contact you if you don’t plan to use them effectively. Nobody likes complaining in person, and maybe they bank on it. I wonder if he’ll ask me for suggestions on setting up a better contact form.