Even the most patient souls sometimes find themselves unable to get a customer service rep to set things right. While you know that screaming or threatening won't help, what should you do when you're at your wits' end? It's simple: Take a deep breath, then follow these four proven steps that will help you resolve a frustrating situation ASAP.
Related: 6 Rules for Being a Smart Shopper
1. Manage the Phone Tree
Talking to customer service is step one in solving every kind of complaint - and, in many cases, it's the only step needed. Still, that doesn't mean you have to spend hours on the phone. To cut time navigating endless phone menus, visit gethuman.com for free tips on reaching a live person faster. If the first rep you talk to isn't inclined to help, hang up and try again, suggests Bill Withers, Ed.D., a communications professor at Wartburg College in Waverly, IA, who specializes in customer service issues.
Whatever you do, don't skip this first step. The people you'll reach out
Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping
Even the most patient souls sometimes find themselves unable to get a customer service rep to set things right. While you know that screaming or threatening won't help, what should you do when you're at your wits' end? It's simple: Take a deep breath, then follow these four proven steps that will help you resolve a frustrating situation ASAP.Read More »from How to Complain (So You Get Results)
Think you can believe that fantastic claims you hear in infomercials? The Good Housekeeping Research Institute reviewed some popular products seen on TV. Read on to find out the truth behind the most popular infomercial products instantly!Read More »from The Truth Behind "As Seen on TV" Products
$10 plus $7 S&H
The Pitch: "The strength of super glue. The convenience of tape!"
The Truth: We used these little double-sided-tape-like strips to bond 14 materials, including metal, plastic, wood, and fabric. Most stuck together impressively well, even if they got wet or cold. And it's all true: UGlu doesn't make a mess or stick much to skin, is simple to peel off, sets with no need to clamp, and is generally more user-friendly than the other alternatives. But its strength claims are exaggerated, and in our tests its bond weakened in high temperatures.
The Bottom Line: UGlu is great for tasks like tacking a slipping rug to the floor, repairing peeling linoleum, and scrapbooking, as well as almost anything that needs a removable fix (say,
On a recent Tuesday afternoon, my daughter Maggie, 15, didn't come home on time from school. I tried her cell phone; no answer. To my knowledge, she didn't have any activities or specific plans. By five o'clock, genuine worry kicked in.Read More »from What Your Teen Isn't Telling You
At 5:13, she walked in, dropped her backpack on the floor, and said with infuriating nonchalance, "Hey. What's for dinner?"
"Where have you been?" I asked, sounding just as shrill as my mom had when she had asked me the same question.
"If you're going to interrogate me, forget dinner," she replied. "I'm going to my room."
Related: Are You a Pushover Parent?
The child who used to sit on my lap while we watched American Idol now thinks I'm a nosy, judgmental, critical, interfering rube. She's right. But still. I'm not curious about my daughter's private life for my sake. I just want to make sure she's OK...and, if not, to reassure Maggie that I want to help. Communication and conversation: That's what I want.
And so, seeking to grease the wheels of
It costs the average car owner about $4,225 per year to own an auto, including maintenance, repairs, insurance, and ever-spiking gas prices. Short of riding a bike around town, what else can be done to tame the expense? Lots. Here, three smart strategies that will put you on the road to major savings.Read More »from 3 Ways to Drive Down Car Costs
1. Find gas for less
These days, it's easy to drain your debit card while you fill your tank. Prices had climbed steeply to a national average of $3.95 per gallon as we went to press, so finding a bargain is vital. One terrific tool is the website gasbuddy.com - or download the free phone app, which is handy on the road. In my zip code, GasBuddy found prices ranging from $3.81 to $3.93. Another option: AAA's TripTik Mobile free phone app (available to all, not just AAA members), which pinpoints stations and prices so you can comparison-shop. Consider the pumps at Costco, too, an unlikely but often price-wise source (hence the long lines). At press time, if I drove to the Costco in the
If you start the season with good intentions (chores! books! fresh air!), only to find the kids camped out in front of YouTube, read this wise advice:Read More »from Help Your Kids Make the Most of Summer
Every June, I have the best of intentions: I'm going to keep the kids on a schedule. They're going to do more chores and read more books. We're going to take a family bike ride or walk every day, preferably in the cool of the morning. We'll be closer than ever.
And by the time the Fourth of July rolls around, things have usually slid out of control. The kids are sleeping in way past breakfast, lounging in front of the TV (or YouTube), and texting the afternoons away. It usually starts with a soft-hearted moment on my part ("They need a break after the school year - I'll let them sleep in today"), but quickly turns into a pattern. And since I'm still busy - with work, laundry, etc. - I sidestep my guilt and let them veg.
Related: June Summer Fun Guide
It's a common problem. By the middle school years, kids are too old to play Monopoly
You don't have to take a vacation this summer to have fun. With these ideas, you and your kids can forgo the expensive trip and create an adventure in your own backyard!Read More »from 10 Family-Friendly Summer Activities
1. Bond in the Backyard
As temperatures rise and the kids bargain for more time outdoors, help them channel their boundless energy into a useful project, such as washing the family vehicle or digging up weeds.
2. Pretend You're a Tourist
Skip costly travel expenses and embark on an adventure through your own hometown! Spend the day exploring uncharted attractions in your area, like museums, landmarks, and parks.
3. Plant Family Seeds
Ask close friends and relatives to name their favorite flowers and set aside a portion of soil for your children to plant them. Watch as your child's interest in nature blooms along with family favorites like Aunt Tara's sunflowers and Daddy's daffodils.
Related: 20 No-Fuss Weekend Getaways for Families
4. Spend a Day at the Community Pool
Swimming together not only gets your family
Ah, the simple pleasures of summer: ice cream, sand between your toes - and hitting the outlet mall while you're on vacation. Try these smart but simple strategies for getting the very best deals; they'll have you snagging unbelievable bargains - up to 90 percent off. (Bonus: They work year-round, so tuck them away for holiday shopping.)Read More »from 3 Ways to Save More at Outlets
1. Cash in on Coupons
Who knew? Most outlets trim at least 25 to 65 percent off retail, but you can also score coupons on top of that - ka-ching! Visit the outlet center's website (two websites that serve multiple outlets are tangeroutlet.com and premiumoutlets.com) to print out savings offers for favorite stores. For instance, I printed a 15-percent-off Kate Spade coupon for both sale and full-price merchandise before I left for a mega-outlet mall. When I got there, I saw the beautiful sparkle tights I had seen on katespade.com a couple of months before but resisted buying because they were $32 a pair. The outlet store was having an
These tales of growing up, hanging out, and falling in love remind us just how much can happen in a few hot months.Read More »from 10 Summer Movie Classics
1. Dirty Dancing (1987)
It was the summer of '63 - before Kennedy was shot, before the Beatles invaded, and when Baby and Johnny had the time of their lives.
2. Grease (1978)
Drift into those sweet summer nights and watch the roles that made John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John cultural icons.
3.Stand by Me (1986)
Four childhood buddies embark on one last adventure together and ask the eternal question: If Mickey's a mouse and Pluto's a dog, then what's Goofy?
Related: 10 Summer Beach Reads
The Griswold family's cross-country summer vacation turns into a hilarious adventure of mishaps.
5. A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999)
Kevin Kline, Christian Bale, and Michelle Pfeiffer are just some of the all-star cast that helps bring this magical Shakespearian classic to life.
6. Roman Holiday (1953)
The chance meeting of a princess and a reporter makes a
Was it Jerry Seinfeld who said, "There's no such thing as fun for the whole family"? Award-winning author, and Good Housekeeping's happiness expert, Gretchen Rubin disagrees - but family vacations can definitely be a challenge. She's found these strategies can help to keep that time fun.Read More »from 5 Secrets for Surviving a Family Vacation
1. Make time for your own kind of fun.
I've learned that I need to make time for the activities that I find fun on vacation - which in my case means reading. If I spend my entire day chasing my children with a bottle of sunscreen, or going to a movie about chipmunks, I'm not going to be having a good time. I need some time for my own kind of fun. Along the same lines, sometimes I think, Why am I just lying here, reading, on such a beautiful day? I should be going for a run/playing in the ocean/learning to play tennis. I love to read, and now I let myself read as much as I can get away with, given the realities of a family vacation. Everyone will have more fun when everyone has fun, so it's not selfish
No time to run to the local party store for miniature flags and bunting? No problem! Check out decorator/blogger Courtney de Wet's picks for easy, festive, and mostly free decorations that you can print from the comfort of your own home. Happy Fourth!Read More »from Quick and Easy Fourth of July Decor
Purchase and print these adorable cupcake holders, pictured at left, from Paper and Cake.
Frame this festive free sign to greet guests as they enter from Crafting Chicks.
Guests won't waste cups, or forget names with these free drink tags from Fresh Home.
Related: How to Display the American Flag
Set out these sparkler favors from Delightfully Noted in a basket for guests to take out at dusk.
Sweeten up beverages with these straw tags available at The Sweet Occasion.
Not having your own party but attending as a guest? Don't forget to take a bottle of wine adorned with this clever gift tag by Erin Vale Design.
How are you planning to decorate for the Fourth of July? Tell us in the comments!
- By Laura Eckstein
Image Courtesy of