Brrrring! Hello, customer service agent? Did you hear my complaint? And more importantly — howyagonnafixit?

[Now I’m on hold. The sound of muzak is tickling my eardrums — probably Smooth Operator, by Sade.]

You know the drill. Your phone, cable, or internet provider dropped the ball and now you’re stuck on the line trying to get the costly problem fixed. Yes, your call (*cough*) is important to them. But maybe you should keep records of the issue in case you need to revisit the problem.

funny dog

Knowing the names of agents, times of calls, and file/case numbers could save you a lot of grief, a bunch of time, and some money down the road.

I started tracking my customer service grievances back when a big phone company got sneaky and charged me a long distance access fee despite my never using the service. Whenever I called to follow up and recoup my costs, all the service agents went mute, or ‘forgot’ to escalate the issue. No one wanted to refund my moolah. But after getting through to a supervisor with specific call times, agent names, and case numbers I was refunded over a hundred bucks thanks to my handy Track Customer Service Calls Worksheet (PDF).

Track your customer service callsDownload: Track Customer Service Calls Worksheet (PDF)

Tracking customer service calls was also important when I tried to break up with my cable company — they didn’t want to let me go! Knowing my cancellation date and time (down to the minute) became essential ’cause I had to give that greedy cable guy 30 days notice before I was allowed to quit the service.

So before calling a phone, cable, financial, or airline customer service line with an issue to air, be sure to download this simple worksheet and record that conversation. Track the date, time, agent name, reason for call, and any comments pertaining to your problem. You could save a little, or a lot, of money.