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Tips on How to Complain and Be Heard

These valuable tips come from Phyllis Stoller, the founder of Women’s Travel Club. Phyllis’s two sons have been traveling since birth due to mom’s love of travel. She provides Smart Women Travelers with tips on the right way to complain in the event something along your travels doesn’t work out quite right.

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Be organized in gathering information rather than hysterically furious.

Take notes about your entire conversation, even if you have to tell the other person to repeat what they said.

Use a speaker phone when registering the complaint by telephone.  This gives the impression that others are listening and people generally are more careful about what they say when on a speaker phone.

Be factual and prove it with telephone records, fax logs, certified letters and photographs.

Print out all website information including anything you filled in on line, before you hit the submit button.

If complaint is made in person, make sure you are talking to the right individual, by looking immediately at their business card. Keep the card.

Do not settle for a low level person even if you have to wait in a conspicuous place.

Get the listener to sit down away from a hotel reception desk so they have to pay attention to you.

Take a photograph of the situation.

Make a cell phone video with others joining in on the complaint that way.

Do it all with a smile and a reasonable voice. You can kick the wall later.

Carol’s added tip: Always state what you’re expecting from the person you’re explaining the issue to. Whether it be a reduction in a hotel charge, a compensated meal, or whatever the situation warrants, the person trying to resolve your issue will be better equipped to negotiate a solution when expectations are known.

To receive a free copy of our ebook, 70 Secrets to Safe Travel — Because Your Life Can Change in a Heartbeat and for more travel savvy info to help you travel smarter, safer and with more enjoyment, visit and

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