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How to complain effectively

How to complain effectively

By knowing your consumer rights, and knowing how to complain effectively you can get satisfying results out of disappointing customer service situations. 

Damaged and faulty good are easy problems to resolve with receipts when products are under warranty and consumer rights protect you. Resolving disappointment from poor customer service however, can be a bit trickier until you learn to complain effectively. 


Stop, wait, think it over

Complaining should be procedural and anger can jam up the process.

If you’ve been disappointed, take a day or two and blow off some steam. Think about what went wrong and how your expectations weren’t met before you make your complaint.


Know what you want

Whether you want an apology, a full refund or you think your complaint is worthy of a little bit extra, knowing what you’re asking for and sticking to it is crucial. 


Reputation is everything

Targeting a company’s reputation is an effective strategy to make yourself heard.

You needn’t call the national press, simply telling a business that you liked them and would have recommended them before they let you down with shoddy service can be enough for them to take you seriously.


Don’t call in

Writing may feel old-fashioned given the reach of social media, but an envelope addressed to the right person will yield better, more pointed results than five frustrating phone calls to a person who has ‘just stepped out of the office’.


Online methods

Many larger companies have people monitoring customer feedback on social media regularly.

Using an online communication platform like Twitter is sure to get you heard. Try something like: 'I had a disappointing #customerservice at #[companyname] in #[location] today, could have been better.' Or look for their dedicated customer service account, and approach them directly. 


Stick to your guns

While many things can be resolved this way, don’t be flattered by the first offer of compensation.

If a travel company offers you discounted travel, for example, but you feel the delay to your original journey and their poor service warrants a refund and a complimentary ticket, tell them.

Be honest about what you expect and what you feel is fair. Stick to your guns. Good luck!