At PeopleClaim we advise consumers with complaints to be in the habit of documenting their transactions, keeping notes of conversations with customer service reps, and being able to show as much evidence as possible to support their claims.
A news story from South Carolina shows how important this can be—and the unusual tactics employed by an imaginative customer to gather information and prove his point.
William Clark’s 2010 Chevy Camaro SS had some not-good noises coming from its six-speed manual transmission, so he took the car to a Chevy dealer’s service department. Prior experience at another shop made him suspect that mechanics can go overboard when “test-driving” a high-performance car like his—punishing it to the point that they’re doing damage. He wanted to know if that would happen this time.
When Clark dropped off his car he also left a recording device concealed in a door pocket. Sure enough, the playback confirmed what amounted to a joyride by shop technicians—and caught their conversations about how to defraud both Clark and Chevrolet in replacing the clutch, damaged by repeated “hard launches” and “burnouts” recorded during their 20-minute drive.
The payoff? After negotiations between Clark and the dealer (with the Chevrolet Division of GM monitoring the situation), plus coverage of the story and extensive reader comments at Yahoo Autos, Clark accepted the dealer’s offer to repurchase the car for more than its Blue Book value.
You may never have a situation where you’d care to use a hidden recording device. (In case you do, you might want to check your State’s attorney general’s office beforehand to see if you’d be violating any privacy laws.) But if you have a recording and file a complaint using PeopleClaim, you’ll find it super-easy to strengthen your claim with it: just upload your file and it can post on the Internet with your complaint if your problem isn’t resolved in 10 days. The same goes for any kind of evidence you may have—videos, photos, correspondence, contracts, you name it. Depending on the material you can either post it privately to share only with the other party, or allow public viewing.
So if you have a dispute, always look for the information that will back it up and give you leverage. It’s hard to argue with facts.