MONEY

Great customer service: Share your secrets

(Update, Oct. 10: If you submitted a suggestion before Oct. 9, please re-send! Because of a technical glitch, many of your responses were deleted by our system.)

Got a trick for getting great customer service? We’d like to write about it in a forthcoming issue of MONEY magazine.

If you regularly run into rude behavior, or simply a lack of friendly service, from the companies you do business with, you’re definitely not alone. A third of consumers report being treated rudely once a month, says a new study by professors from Georgetown and USC published in the Journal of Service Research. Unsurprisingly, such episodes make consumers less likely to patronize those businesses.

But what if you’re unable to take your business elsewhere? You can’t stop talking to the cable company if it’s the only provider in your area. And you’re stuck if you’ve already shelled out dough for, say, an airline ticket and you’re standing in the airport.

We want to hear your stories. How do you handle poor service? More importantly, what are your secrets for wrangling good customer service out of any business? Do you have special tactics to ensure red-carpet treatment? Share your experiences — and especially your success stories — below. For example:

  • The airline industry has made the term “friendly skies” into an oxymoron: lost luggage, delayed flights, high fees. How have you cajoled an airline into fixing your problem — or treating you right from the outset?
  • How do you score hotel upgrades without paying upgraded prices?
  • Have you ever complained after being treated poorly or receiving defective merchandise and gotten good results, including financial compensation? What strategy worked?
  • Have you sweet-talked your way into a better deal on your cell phone, cable or other subscription service? What did you say?
If you have a tip you’d like to share, fill out the confidential form below. We’ll be including the best tips, along with the readers who suggested them, in our story.

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