Tools to Verify
Is it easy to contact the company?
One might think it would be easy to contact a company. However,
this is easier said than done. It is rarely enough to add the
email flag “info” to a URL and expect to get a meaningful
response. A person interesting in contacting a company must do
research to cut back on vague or confusing communication.
Research will also help uncover a variety of ways -- perhaps
even an ideal way -- to get in contact with a company. Research
will also help prove if a company is trustworthy.
Before sending an email addressed to “info” at whatever the
company URL might be, a person must consider some customer
support issues. It is safe to assume that most companies are
busy with customer communications. Unless an individual is
careful enough to send an email with detailed instructions, the
most likely response will be an automated letter, perhaps asking
for more detailed information. Companies may have difficulties
distinguishing email spam from genuine requests, and it is
possible that a genuine customer email might be discarded. In
addition to this, all of this information assumes that an email
address beginning with “info” exists for the URL. Customer
support email addresses may vary as much as the people who
maintain the email accounts for companies.
Instead of taking a quick, dirty, and insufficient approach to
company communication, it is wise to research the ways one may
contact a company. The Internet has made this research
relatively easy. Many companies keep detailed customer contact
information close to the root directories of their websites.
With a moment or two, a person can write down the details, as
well as copy them into a word processing program. Taking this
step ensures that a person has multiple ways to establish
contact with a company. If email fails, one will then be able to
communicate with a company by telephone, fax, or snail mail.
These options may vary in efficiency and effectiveness, but
having them available is a good tool for avoiding the trap of
having only one type of communication.
To further ensure communication success, one might profit from
researching the people and organizations that maintain
companies’ telephone numbers and addresses. In email, this can
be as simple as contacting the customer service department
rather than human relations. It is often good that email
addresses tend to distinguish between the departments of a
company, though a person should make an effort to ensure the
content of a message is clear in the body of the email. When
contacting a person at a company by email, it is also useful to
discern the person’s full name and person. The same principle
applies to telephone, fax, and traditional mail communication. A
wise customer should make sure the message is addressed to the
most relevant person or department, and then communicate in a
clear manner with that individual or individuals.
If the contact details for a company prove to be difficult to
find, it may be a good idea to consider dealing with different
companies. Some organizations keep contact details secret for a
reason. For instance, some wholesale companies may not deal with
individual customers. Regardless of the reason, it is best to
consider the needs of a company as well as one’s own needs. If a
company proves to be difficult to contact and its services are
not crucial, it may be best to pass over that company in favor
of one that is more convenient and efficient. Spending a large
amount of effort on an inefficient company may be a waste.
Some companies may prove to be less than trustworthy. This is
difficult to judge, since a company may change its policies,
stagnate, improve, or present more than one face to the public.
Research and common sense are often the best defenses that a
person can use. If there is doubt about the reliability of a
company, a person can research customers’ testimonies as well as
complains, the history of the company, and how reliable the
company is in relation to its competitors. Common sense can be
equally useful, as discussed in the article “Is information on
websites truthful and accurate?” In short, doubt and research
should keep a person from falling into the hands of an
Finally, even after a person has established contact with a
company, it will continue to be a wise idea to maintain a
detailed record of the communication. A person should remember
which employee or department replied to the inquiry. Remembering
where the employee or department exists in the organizational
hierarchy of the company is equally wise. It may also be
important to understand which forms of communication that the
company and its employees prefer. These steps require time and
record keeping, but they will establish a good foundation for
communication with a company.
In summary, a person should work to find multiple, effective
methods to contact a company. Unless a person has only trivial
things to say, a person should approach communication in a
nontrivial way. It is not good to spend a little effort on a
major project, or to put too much effort contacting a
problematic company. Finding the proper person to contact,
sending detailed messages, and writing down important aspects of
the message are all wise communication strategies. Intelligent
communication will establish a good precedent for future