Handling Problems or Poor Customer Service

Places like the DMV and Social Security office can be challenging for Americans, so I can understand how difficult it could be for an au pair to run into problems there.

If you encounter a problem in one of these locations or at other places like college enrollment, store, bank, etc., here are some tips:

  • Remain calm and polite, even if the person you are dealing with doesn’t. You don’t want to be viewed as being unreasonable or out of control, because that will not help your situation.
  • Ask to speak with a supervisor, if you are being told something that goes against the procedure you have been told (by your counselor, host parent, Au Pair in America or a previous encounter with the office you are visiting).
  • Ask for the name of the person with whom you are speaking. It is a reasonable question and can help if you need to reference this conversation later. It also adds some accountability for the person who gave you the answer.

If the supervisor is still unable to help you, please discuss the problem with your host parents and/or your community counselor. Maybe there has been a change in the procedure. If there has not been a change and you just got unlucky with the person with which you were dealing, you may find success going back another day.

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