Losing Your Consumer Rights?
The rights that consumers have are slowly eroding. Most of us don’t realize the curtailment of our rights because we think we can speak out and air our grievances on social media. But try complaining to a company on Twitter. You will get a mild mannered response that goes nowhere, offering little restitution, and no redress. Believing that we can make wrongs right by using social media as a way to give a company feedback has lulled us into a false sense of security. The openness of social media makes us believe we have consumer rights, but, the reality is, we don’t. The rights that consumers thought they had are quickly vanishing. Corporations, organizations, governmental entities or any large entity that tramples on your rights has an important ally on its side— it’s called time.
Large entities are fond of deploying the Fabian Strategy, which is a favorite means of defense. Fabius was a Roman General who was up against Hannibal during the Punic Wars. Outflanked by Hannibal’s forces, Fabius knew he would be destroyed if he engaged in outright battle. Instead he deployed the “let’s wait and see” strategy: delay, delay, delay and retreat. And again, delay, delay, delay and retreat. The object was to wear down the opponent over time.
There is no greater hell than rushing to get somewhere and being told to wait. It’s sort of like rushing to get to the airport on time, racing through security, boarding your flight, only to find the flight has been delayed. It’s like riding into battle in full armor, feeling the pound of adrenalin coursing in your veins, getting all pumped up, and then being told: WAIT. Being forced to wait will inevitably wear you down. On the battle field or on the tarmac, you could die out there sitting and waiting.
By playing the waiting game, eventually Fabius prevailed. And others, like Napoleon and George Washington, famously deployed the Fabian strategy and won decisive military battles.
Know this, many companies deploy the Fabian Strategy to win decisive victories over you. Disgruntled consumers who’ve been wronged are angry and hellbent to make a wrong right. Even on social media, companies will go quiet and ignore you, or delay and retreat. Odds are, more often than not, you, and I mean all of you, will get worn down, lose, your vim and vigor, and just go away.
If your complaint is big and has potential legal violations, then there are these entities where you can file your complaint:
- How to File a Consumer Complaint
- Steps to File a Complaint Against a Company
- File a Complaint About Online Purchases
- Dispute Resolution Programs
- Mandatory Arbitration Clauses
You can also file a complaint with:
Your state Attorney General (Google Attorney General for your state.)
Econsumer.gov (if your purchase was with a foreign retailer)
While the complaints filed with the above-referenced agencies rarely result in legal action, they all become a matter of public record. This allows consumers to research these agencies to ascertain whether a given company has a particular pattern of complaint or a recurring practice of pissing off consumers.
Let’s say you’re angry because you’ve been wronged but the actual transgression is not illegal. There isn’t always a direct way to publish a complaint, so it can be found on the internet. That’s where Media Bitch has come to the rescue! If you have a bonafide complaint, then tell me. I won’t always be able to find a solution, but I will listen. I can tell your story and give it legs so it lasts a lot longer than a tweet. Losing your consumer rights? Been treated unfairly? Tell me about it! Got a story that bites! Ouch! Put Media Bitch in the header and send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us @mediabitch @prforpeople