Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How to Write Angry Letters

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="He just saw a Dr. Pepper 10 commercial and he's pretty mad."][/caption]

I sometimes write letters to corporations when I am angry.

Examples of this:
Dr. Pepper 10: Oh, how I hate you, Dr. Pepper 10. I have never tried you, but your marketing campaign makes me furious.
Bic Cristal for Her: ARE YOU SERIOUS, BIC? Come on.
AMC Theatres: I got carded when I went to see "Pitch Perfect." So angry.

Some guidelines for writing a corporation to express displeasure:

1. The most important rule: remember that the person who will be reading your letter has NOTHING to do with the thing that you're upset about! Don't take it out on them. Be polite. I tend to reference the fact that it's not their fault! Because it isn't. Customer support people have enough terrible nonsense to deal with. Don't vent at your computer and think that it's harmless...there's a person on the other side of that screen and this really isn't their fault. Full disclosure: I used to be in customer support! It's kind of terrible! Some people are great at it, and they can just let things roll off of them, since nothing they are reading is directed at them personally. I am not one of those people, and I found it to be incredibly stressful and upsetting. Be polite to customer support people! You can write letters of this nature without being a jerk.

2. Know why you're writing. Do you just want to let them know that their marketing tactic is sexist and insulting, and that it will keep you from ever enjoying their products (Dr. Pepper, perhaps?) again? Cool! Tell them that! Do you want something out of it? (Like, not getting carded when attending movies aimed at tweens?) Good luck with that, it probably won't happen (but sometimes it might!). If you are upset because, say, you were overcharged or something like that, it doesn't hurt to outline what happened, how you feel you were wronged, and what you'd like them to do about it. This actually happened to me with an entry fee at an outdoorsy-type place, and I wrote them to apologetically explain that yes, they overcharged me, but I didn't notice at the time, and it would be difficult to prove one way or the other. They were super apologetic and offered to give me a refund. I've also written to companies about products falling apart. Sometimes they've been helpful, sometimes they haven't, and one time, they asked me for my shoe size and replaced the broken shoes without me even asking. (Melissa! If you want kicky rubber shoes, Melissa's customer service is amazing.)

3. Don't expect to get anything out of it. I've gotten canned responses (I hate you, Dr. Pepper 10), personal responses (AMC Theatres...I still am mad at you) and no responses (Bic! Deafening silence!). These are all totally fine. You wrote your letter, you got whatever thing you wanted to say out there, and now you can sit back and wait until the next seriously misguided corporate decision sets you off again!

Seriously, though...remember #1. Don't be a jerk to customer support people. Remember to tell them thanks if they go above and beyond to help resolve your issue. Nothing can resolve Dr. Pepper 10, though. UGH.


  1. I can't wait to start emailing!

  2. #1 is also important to avoid being trolled by customer service. Trust me on this one.