Complain and Get Results

Use these tried-and-true strategies to get companies to listen to you.

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In 2019, Terry Smith, of Jacksonville, Fla., traded in his 2019 Corvette Grand Sport for a same-model-year Chevrolet Silverado pickup. But shortly after he purchased the truck, it started running rough, and certain parts needed immediate replacement. It had transmission, climate control and traction issues, says Smith. He reached out to a friend—a lawyer—who advised him to complain to General Motors before pur­suing legal action (see below for details on lemon laws).

Smith called GM and described the truck’s problems. He told the company that he could pursue legal action but would rather not. GM agreed to take a look at the truck but found that it was operating as designed. Even so, Smith’s lawyer friend advised him to call again and be persistent. After three months of calling and complaining, GM agreed to pay him $5,000.

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Emma Patch
Staff Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Emma Patch joined Kiplinger in 2020. She previously interned for Kiplinger's Retirement Report and before that, for a boutique investment firm in New York City. She served as editor-at-large and features editor for Middlebury College's student newspaper, The Campus. She specializes in travel, student debt and a number of other personal finance topics. Born in London, Emma grew up in Connecticut and now lives in Washington, D.C.