Car complaints: What to do when you have a defective car

Car complaints:  What to do when you have a defective car

Automotive complaints can be difficult to deal with, especially when you don’t know how to proceed with what to do.  You don’t want to end up in a dead-end dispute with the dealer or manufacturer, but it might result to that if you don’t know the proper way to complain.

The first thing you have to do is find out if your complaint is legitimate. Write down your car’s issue/s, why you were dissatisfied, and how you want to resolve it. Take the time to consider if your complaint is valid in order to save time and effort. Setting this straight will help you communicate more effectively.

1. Time is essential.  Complain as soon as possible so you can have a better chance of settling issue. There are some cases where companies are not legally liable if you fail to complain within a reasonable time. So, as soon as you discover the problem and figure out if it’s legitimate, act quickly.

2. Keep records.  Keep all relevant information such as your account number, receipt and invoices, and record a log of your conversation when you take it up with the dealership, including the time and date. Remember to be assertive, but not to the point where you come off as aggressive. Communication between you and the salesperson you’re dealing with will flow so much better and easier when you’re not angry.

3. Go to the next step. if needed.  If the problem isn’t resolved quickly or if the customer care representative is unhelpful, you can escalate your complaint by politely asking if you can speak to someone with the authority to help you resolve the issue. Don’t hesitate to send out an email about your complaint to the owner, president, or chief executive officer (CEO). Once a solution has been proposed, ask them to put it in writing as proof and a part of your paper trail.

4. Find alternatives.  If you fail to resolve the problem, consider looking at other alternatives. Seek advice from consumer groups as they offer free consultation about consumer problems. There are government agencies that give advice and information that may help you in your complaint. You can also contact a lawyer to learn more about your legal rights and options.

5. The power of social media.  Social media is a powerful tool to expedite a process and give consumers the power to quickly make their grievance public. Companies and businesses usually avoid getting publicly shamed so venting on Twitter or Facebook will put that pressure on them to act and see things your way.

If all things fail, take legal action — but only if you are prepared to wait as legal action may take some time.

In truth, however, an automotive complaint will rarely go to court if it’s reasonable. Just research thoroughly, and find the balance between being persistent and patient as you go through the process.

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