Huffy bikes revisited Hobbies & Travel

Hello everyone:

Well, I don’t know if Huffy bikes reads blogs but they emailed me yesterday, to offer me a new bike. We are working out the details. Will keep you posted.

This leads me to a very practical idea: It pays to complain. Your letter or phone call of complaint needs to be very pleasant and you should not threaten, but it is possible to get the job done.

Express yourself clearly and state what action you want taken. Make sure that you do not go over-board and do not attack the company or individual personally.

Keep the main thing the main thing. What is wrong? How can they make it right? Do you have anything you can compliment them on sincerely?

For example, I love my Huffy bike. It is pretty and (except for a major defect in the construction) has given me many hours of pleasure as I have ridden the bike in Cocoa Beach (in my condo parking lot, so it didn’t get dirty!).  It is a beautiful baby blue and looks like I just bought it yesterday.

If I hadn’t gotten a flat tire (I wore the tire out, according to my bike guy), I would never have known that danger was lurking nearby (the front end could have snapped off, sending me head-over-heels into whatever was nearby).

When I called the company, I asked to speak to the supervisor of the man I had previously talked to. When she came on the line, I very clearly (and politely) told her what I wanted to have happen (replace the bike).

When she refused, saying that the engineers and lawyers had determined that the bike was safe, I politely asked her for a letter stating that they had decided (without actually examining the bike) that everything was fine AND that they agreed to pay any medical bills that resulted from the “catastrophic failure” of my bike.

She hedged. I insisted nicely. She hedged some more……..I insisted, firmly but politely. She said she would let me know. A few days later, I got a very nice email from someone else at the company, saying that they would replace the bike free of charge.

We are working out the details. I will let you know what happens in a future email. It pays to be nice, firm, and coherent in what you want or need from a business. [Did you notice a theme of politeness here?]

Best,

Dr. Sheri


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Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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