How to Beat a Deadbeat

By: Sofia Diego

We've all been there. We have all experienced the bad product/service/company and the call to the sickly sweet customer service "expert" that only increases your frustration because you wonder at how anyone working for such a loser company can be so happy. Our legs and bottoms have been ankle shakes away from DVT as we listen to that obnoxious repeating track of elevator music and that dumb computer wench who insists that your "call is important." The best part is that, when it's all over, no one has helped you and your money is still clenched in the fists of greedy fat cats who take no pride in their company or product as long as they make a profit. You're a few frazzled gray hairs, some tears, and a bottle of courage away from calling a lawyer you know you'll never get because you can't afford it, because the company from Hades took all your money.

Lawyers are expensive and, unless you spent an inordinate sum of money on this terrible company, the legal fees will cost far more than the return you will receive (assuming you even get a return, which you won't because they have far more resources than you). However, a huge mistake would be retreating to the shadows and letting this company get away with what they've done. You need to do something about it! The best place is to go online and search for consumer activist sites or forums where you can post your story and grievances. This will warn others to stay away from bad businesses that do not take care of their clients, and with enough reports, it can put pressure on companies to have better customer service.

Several companies with negative consumer reports have claimed that these websites do not affect their business. However, many of the same companies are willing to spend millions on lawsuits trying to get the complaints removed, so apparently it concerns them. Luckily for the consumer, the Federal Communications Decency Act protects websites and blogs where content is posted by others, referring to it as a "safe haven," which means that the site does not have to remove postings. As a poster on these sites, the law also bars you from legal action. That being said, please do not discredit the entire process by writing things that are not true, or blaming businesses for mistakes you may have made. Hey, it happens.

There are also sites out there where you can post complaints about people. Bad ex-boyfriend trample your heart and leave you for some hussy (or five)? Ex-wife decided to be a gold-digging money-stealer who left you divorced, and sans kids and house? Write about it. Nowadays, everyone "Googles" new friends and blind dates, and like consumer reports, the names in your complaints will get pulled up in the search engine and warn people to stay away. These sites will allow you to warn others of people and entities concerned only about themselves and their dirty money profits, and cut off that which they crave most (for cheating exes it may be a high number of partners, for deadbeat children it's a host off of which they can leech, and for the greedy, money hungry, gluttonous businesses it's unsuspecting clients).

What are you still doing on hold? Kick the elevator music and start searching for sites and posting complaints. Then, when the ditsy customer service puppet finally comes through, you can inform them about what you did, counteract their fake, contractual happiness with an evil laugh, and slam down the phone in glory.

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Sofia Diego is a consumer rights activist and attorney who feels frustrated for clients and people she knows when they are mistreated by a deadbeat and cannot get retribution through the courts. She recommends that they at least go about getting revenge by posting consumer complaints online for everyone to see.

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