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Best Ways to Complain

March 25, 2001

I enjoyed "Woe Is You? Where Weary Travelers Can Seek Redress" (Travel Insider, March 11). I agree with its approach, especially the advice to be as devoid of emotion as possible: Avoid judgmental terms; let the facts speak for themselves.

Other steps I advise:

Write a polite letter to the cruise line, airline, whatever, reporting the problem and requesting fair compensation. Gget the name and address of an official within the company to whom such complaints should be made. Attach photocopies of receipts, ticket stubs, brochures and photographs, if appropriate.

If a fair amount of time elapses without a reply, write a second letter, this time to the company president, stating that you have concluded there will not be a response and that complaints have been made to agencies and at least one publication that has a travel ombudsman.

If the reply is unsatisfactory, remain polite and fair but firm,. and make a counteroffer.

If after several exchanges there is still no satisfaction, make copies of all the letters that have been exchanged and enclose them with a letter to the president of the firm, with copies to at least five different agencies.

If my assumptions are correct, the company will take some action that is going to look good to an outside agency.



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