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When Should You Give a Business a Second Chance?

Posted by on Mar. 22, 2013 at 2:26 PM
  • 7 Replies

By Christopher Elliott

      

If you’ve been alive long enough to collect an allowance from your parents, chances are you’ve been burned by a business.

It happens to all of us: We buy something, it isn’t the product we expected, and the company tells us, “Tough luck!”

Ouch!

To be fair, a vast majority of business transactions are perfectly satisfactory. If they weren’t, then civilization as we knew it would probably grind to a halt, and our economy would collapse.

But when do you give a business a second chance?

Change of management.

When a business is under new management (and especially when it advertises that fact), then the odds are good that it’s trying to turn over a new leaf. Many of its policies might have changed and it’s likely that its products have, too.

New name, new look.

Just like the change in management, a company-wide “rebranding” can signal that the company is headed in a new, and maybe better, direction. This can sometimes also happen after it emerges from bankruptcy protection.

Maybe it won’t sell the same shoddy products as before — it wouldn’t hurt to find out.

A public apology.

When a business does something truly awful and is fined by the government or must issue a public mea culpa, it has the potential to change the very DNA of the corporation.

At least in the short term, a public “I’m sorry” may lead to better service or a quality product. (An empty private apology for “the way you feel” is not enough. Those are worthless.)

They discontinue the product that burned you.

If a company turns its back on the product that made you end your relationship — and that’s especially true if it publicly disavows the product — then you should consider returning.

It may mean that the business is dedicated internally to building a better product or offering a better service.

If you believe your expectations might have been too high.

Sometimes you buy something and want it to be more than it is. So when you’re disappointed, the problem isn’t the business — it’s you. If you think that may be the case, you have my blessing to give the company a second chance.

A company can change and improve, but it’s difficult. Businesses rarely do it on their own. Relentless pressure from customers, investors, the market, and government regulators can help, but there’s no way to tell for certain if your experience will be better than the last time.

Christopher Elliott is a consumer advocate who blogs about getting better customer service at On Your Side. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook or send him your questions by email.

by on Mar. 22, 2013 at 2:26 PM
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Replies (1-7):
Rust.n.Gears
by Gold Member on Mar. 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

I usually don't change my opinion when a company burns me. It takes a lot to do that to me though.

 


baquick
by Silver Member on Mar. 22, 2013 at 2:30 PM
It depends on how badly I get burned or how badly the service is
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
ColieO
by Bronze Member on Mar. 22, 2013 at 2:30 PM
1 mom liked this
Change of management is probably the only thing I'd consider.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
lil_mama06
by Brian's Lil Vixen on Mar. 22, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Once I get burned I won't go back...But I haven't been burned so far...

AzariahsMother
by on Mar. 22, 2013 at 2:35 PM
I guesd it depends on what happen.
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Stevensmomma
by Platinum Member on Mar. 22, 2013 at 2:43 PM


Quoting Rust.n.Gears:

I usually don't change my opinion when a company burns me. It takes a lot to do that to me though.

same here

mom2jessnky
by on Mar. 22, 2013 at 4:31 PM

If a company has lost my business it's for a DAMN good reason. All the companies that have lost my business need a lot more than a change of management to even have a chance of getting me back. They're all HUGE Corperations though so these changes don't apply to them, these apply to smaller businesses IMO.

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