I don’t know what group out there helps train debt relief companies about how to handle consumer issues in a positive way, maybe MSTARS, but Tax Defense Network needs a master class in how not to shoot yourself in the foot.
I’m publishing this because it’s a good opportunity to help any debt relief company learn how to respond to an unhappy person. Years ago I wrote How to Handle a Consumer Complaint Like a Pro And Come Out Smelling Like a Rose and those techniques as as salient today as they were then.
I had received a complaint from a reader:
“I worked there briefly but left because I felt so uncomfortable with their business practices. In addition to the high pressure sales, the offer nothing you can can’t do for yourself by picking up the phone and calling the IRS. If you need a tax attorney get one yourself, at the time I worked there (2015) they had exactly one tax attorney on staff.
The reason they have an A rating with the BBB is that they refund customers money if the file a claim, but the stipulation in the paperwork says the client has to remove the BBB complaint and can not ever post anything negative about them online.
They also owned many website offering “reviews” of tax service companies. Guess who is always #1? They also owned many many sites that were made to look like competitors but were under there control. I watched someone from the IT department run to one of the salesmen and tell him “You have to hook this guy, he has filled out request for information on two other sites!” So they knew that as he was talking to them he was shopping the competition.
Here is a 2015 ruling addressing some but not all of the those issues. I am still sure they are up to slimy business practices.
After multiple email exchanges with the Tax Defense Network Director of Digital Marketing I could not get any public response or comment to the complaint. They did not deny any of the facts in the complaint either. And this would have been a middle school punt to respond to.
I even sent them that guide I wrote and said, “However, it’s an easy issue to respond to and I would urge you to just send me an exceptional customer service email. You might want to read [the guide URL].”
I’d love to hear how you think Tax Defense Network should have responded to the reader submitted comment. Post your suggestion in the comment section below.
Dealing with unhappy employees or customers is a critical skill for all debt relief companies to learn how to properly deal with.
In a recent meeting with some attorneys from an Attorney General office they repeated something I’ve been harping on about for years. To stay off the regulator radar just give a refund, provide a professional response, and deal with the issue in a positive way. In fact, here is a video of one lawyer from an Attorney General’s office explicitly telling debt relief professionals at my Rally in Raleigh about how to deal with complaints and stay off the radar.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to post your proposed response to the complaint to show the good folks at the Tax Defense Network how to respond to such complaints.