Complaining to a company can be a good way to get free stuff as compensation. But who wants free stuff from a company they don't like? Try writing a letter to the companies you do like instead. Photo by Carol VanHook.
As personal finance site Wallet Hacks points out, most companies are more than willing to accept fan letters and thank you notes. In some cases, they may be grateful enough that they will send out coupons or free samples of other products to encourage loyal customers. While there was no guarantee (and getting free stuff sometimes took a little prodding), some companies were very generous to their fans:
In the process, I learned a lot of brands are owned by the same major conglomerates. Some major conglomerates were more generous than others. Every PepsiCo brand sent us something. Some companies never replied — which was very surprising.
Obviously not every company is going to shower you with gifts just because you bought something once, but many are trained to encourage the goodwill they generate with customers. Thank you notes cost very little, especially when they're sent via company feedback forms online. If you're a really big fan of a particular company, it may be worth reaching out to let them know.
Flattery Project: I thanked 42 companies, see what they sent me! [Wallet Hacks via Rockstar Finance]