Consumer Reports: How to get results from social media complaints

CHICAGO -- When you run into problems using a company or service, it can be hard to get someone to hear your complaint.

However, some consumers have found you can quickly get a company's attention by going to social media.

One Chicago area man found out how effective social media complaints could be, if it's handled the correct way.

Andres Baracaldo loves barbeque and he spent big bucks on his custom-made smoker.

But when he received the pit, he was devastated.

"When I saw the damage, I honestly couldn't even believe it," Barcaldo said.

The smoker's wheel axle was bent, paint was chipped and it was covered in dents and dings, so Andres took to social media.

"I took pictures of the damage, I uploaded that to the Facebook group. People right away started chiming in with similar experiences and how it was made right," Baracaldo explained.

The company quickly took notice and the owner contacted Andres directly.

He was sent parts for repair and fresh paint and he was even refunded over a thousand dollars.

More and more consumers are following Andres' lead in taking to social media to get results.

"Well, the appeal of using Twitter is that it's typically very public, easily searchable, and the company is very limited in its ability to hide that complaint," Consumer Reports Editor, Kevin Doyle said.

Here are some tips to make social media complaining more effective:

1.Target an active verified account, one that is regularly monitored.

2.Never post private information in public places - This is especially important for Facebook and Twitter. Only disclose that type of info through direct messages when you know you're chatting with a company representative.

3. Be honest, exaggerating your claim won't help you get better service.

4. Always be respectful. A positive attitude may result in a positive outcome.

"Companies recognize the power of social media. They know that a negative complaint can reflect badly on the entire company," Doyle said.

Baracaldo feels his situation was rectified.

"Honestly, I don't think I could've gotten better customer service," he added.

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