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Complaining about customer service Complaining about faulty goods

10 Types of complainer which one are you?

Complainer types – some are better than others!

What type of complainer are you?
What type of complainer are you?

I believe that there are many types of complainers. Whatever type you are, this book will help you become more effective in your complaining.

The Professional Complainer

This title annoys me. A lot. I often get asked if I am a professional complainer. It is an utterly ridiculous term. I haven’t trained to be a complainer. I haven’t got any qualifications in complaining and I don’t do it as a job although  I do now take up people’s complaints for them when all else has failed and they need some help. I see this as providing consultancy advice and  not  what people mean when they ask “Are you a Professional Complainer?” No-one is a professional complainer. It is insulting to those with a profession.

The Serial Complainer

I often get asked if I am this kind of a complainer too. I think this term is best suited to people who complain continually to the same company. Frequently they have been offered some redress but they keep on spending a disproportionate amount of time on complaints. They ‘phone the company, send emails, send letters and never give up – often over trivial matters. they can also give effective complainers a bad name. The Complainers showed some of these.

The Extreme Complainer

Similar to the Serial Complainer, this person complains when the time spent is not comparable with the possible redress gained. S/he will complain about anything and everything sometimes with an end in mind but usually just for the sake of it and not because they feel genuinely aggrieved. There’s a difference between complaining about the principle of some rotten apples for £1 and complaining about the assistant who annoyingly asks “Can I help you?” and hangs around when you just want to browse. That’s subjective and annoys the heck out of me and I’ll moan about it but I won’t complain to anyone to gain redress!

The Dishonest Complainer

Serial and extreme complainers probably give people who complain effectively and regularly with good reason a bad name. In addition to wasting their own time they often waste customer service’s staff time which could be better spent with reasonable complainers. But the Dishonest Complainers are in a league of their own. They make up stories and complaints, putting hairs in meals for example, just to gain freebies. And here’s a word of warning if you are thinking about fabricating a complaint Brit couple who made ‘fake’ claim over ‘dodgy food’ at Greek hotel could lose home because they were sued back for £170,000 by the furious chain

The Opportunist Complainer

Similarities with The Dishonest Complainer, The Opportunist Complainers look for opportunities to complain and gain something to which they are usually not entitled, often keeping on at customer services until they are paid to “go away”.

The Rude Complainer

This type of complainer can often be ineffective, serial and/or extreme. Swearing and shouting at staff and/or writing abusive letters/emails rightly rarely gains redress.

The Amusing Complainer

These complainers are a little bit different. Really good amusing complainers have gained media coverage for their complaints, such as the Sons of Maxwell’s “United Breaks Guitars” song that went viral.

United Breaks Guitars

 

 and the hilarious letter written to Richard Branson regarding the food on a Virgin flight. Amusing Complainers don’t always need to know their legal rights if their correspondence is entertaining enough and the receiver has a sense of humour. This complaining style is usually effective but sometimes humour doesn’t gain redress and to ensure that they will need to become an effective complainer.

The Innovative Complainer

These are to be admired I have to say. Being innovative will usually work. Often the Amusing Complainer falls into this category but to be truly innovative the quality needs to be more than just enough to make friends and family smile. My cousin ‘phoned up a toy manufacturer’s CEO’s secretary and pretended to be from the BBC in order to gain access to the CEO. She was put through to him directly and went through her complaint. It can’t be done with every complaint but when a complainer is innovative the response is usually good.

The Ineffective Complainer

This person tries. Not assertive, not knowing their legal rights, ineffective complainers try to get refunds but rarely get them. They get fobbed off when they try and complain. The Ineffective Complainer may vent a tweet or a post on a Facebook page but not follow it up to gain redress.

The Effective Complainer

In order to always gain redress one needs to be an effective complainer. The Effective Complainers know their legal rights, assert them politely and will not be fobbed off – when the company they paid tries to blame the manufacturer or delivery company for example.

Further help with complaining

Top 20 Tips How to Complain! lots of help and advice!

5 top tips for complaining effectively

Youtube channel – lots of clips of consumer rights

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

I believe that there are many types of complainers. Whatever type you are, GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS! will help you become more effective in your complaining!

So, what kind of complainer are you?

 

Categories
Laws

Your rights, mail order, online and deliveries

Who is responsible for what when ordering off premises?

Mail order and online purchases

Your rights when purchasing items through an advert or catalogue are exactly the same as buying from any other retailer, so your correspondence about faulty items would be covered under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. In addition, under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 consumers have 14 days cooling off period for changing their minds. A further 14 days is provided from this date to return the item. There are some exceptions to this such as bespoke items. Whether or not return postage has to be paid depends on the trader’s terms and conditions. If you paid extra for speedier delivery and it wasn’t delivered within this time you are entitled to the charge back. If the item is faulty you do not pay return postage and you should receive the full cost of any postage paid for sending the item to you.

Parcel outside door, delivery notirrived? Arrived late? Left and stolen? Your rights to redress

You are also entitled to any out of pocket expenses if the company don’t turn up when they say they will, such as time off work wages if you have to arrange another date for delivery.

Digital purchases

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 provides specific coverage for digital content. Digital content must not be supplied by the retailer within the 14 cooling off period unless the customer has agreed to it and that once the download starts the cancellation right is lost. If the customer does not give consent then s/he will have to wait until after the 14 days before downloading. Having bought the wrong download and realising it before I actually downloaded but before this new law came out I welcome this Act! All I could do was tell them that the Law was changing!

Delivery

The aforementioned Act also states that goods must be delivered within the time frame agreed with the seller. If one hasn’t been agreed (you have agreed a time frame if the listing supplies a time frame) the trader must deliver ‘without undue delay’ and at the very latest not more than 30 days from the day after the contract is made. After this time you are entitled to a full refund.

Of course, deliveries must also be carried out with reasonable skill and care. See my experience with the Body Shop here. I was on the ITV news regarding that story, I gave advice which they cut and Martin Lewis said if we complained more then service would improve. Something that followers of me on  Twitter and read this blog know that I bang on about a lot!

Package delivered but not received?!

What if your plant pot denies signing for your parcel? Well the delivery company won’t have proof of the signature (I assume of course, I may be wrong) and if your parcel isn’t there, say because I don’t know, it’s out in the open on a busy road and it’s a really stupid place to put it, what do you do?

By providing details for a “safe place” you are agreeing to it being safe! If there is a chance that it could be stolen don’t use it as a safe place! Common sense really! It has become your property as the retailer has left the item where you specified. You could possibly try and claim from your insurer.

If however, some fool has put it in a wheelie bin and it is bin collection day and you don’t get the parcel then it has not been delivered with reasonable skill and care and you are entitled to a full refund.

Mind you, Laura (the presenter) said the carpet was cream. She must have thought the carpet was filthy because it was never cream! It is a dark pinky purple beigey type thing!

To whom do you complain when deliveries go wrong?

I see so much people complaining about the courier company. Unless you paid the courier company direct (extremely unlikely when purchasing items online) your contract is with the retailer. So when a courier company, let’s call it Model, is utterly useless and leaves your package somewhere to be stolen or throws it in the garden breaking the contents, it is the retailer from whom you claim. Even if they try and fob you off and say contact Model, don’t. The retailer can deal with the courier and perhaps when they’ve had enough complaints they’ll drop the contract and use a better firm. If you have difficulties you can go to the CEO of the company to whom you paid the money and find their contact details from ceoemail.com

Returns

If you need the retailer to pick up the item because it is bulky, put the request in writing (why it is important to write not phone) provide a deadline for when they can pick it up or you will dispose of the item.

What are your rights when returning items at Christmas?

Template letter for an item not received.

Further protection

Should consumers order an item from an advertisement in a newspaper which is signed up to the Safe Home Ordering Scheme (previously known as the Mail Ordering Protection Scheme) they can get their money back if the trader goes into liquidation or stops trading. Keep a copy of the advert when ordering until the item has been received.

Outside of the EU

You don’t have the protection. See Don’t let shopping online become a “rip off” for more.

Rip Off Britain discussing shopping outside of EU

Contract with the delivery firm

If you use a courier firm to deliver something (e.g. you have sold something on an auction site)  and there is a problem it can be VERY frustrating to contact them and get the matter resolved. Once an item is lost it appears to very rarely appear again!

You should contact the courier to try and locate the item. Do not call. Why you should write not ‘phone to complain effectively  If the company makes it difficult to do this contact the CEO using  ceoemail.com to get the contact email.

It is in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 for not providing services with reasonable skill and care and if it has lost an item you are entitled to a full refund. You will at the very least be entitled to a refund of the delivery cost. Whether you are entitled to the cost of the value of the item is unfortunately debateable and may depend on which courier you used, whether you paid for insurance and whether your item is exempt from insurance. be careful for example when using companies like Parcel2Go which appears to take an insurance payment for items that are not covered. (It is a very long list!) One could consider that this is a breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 for being misleading and being an unfair contract. However this has yet to be tested in court and I would be delighted to help anyone try it and set a precedent which could stop this practice!

Unsolicited goods

All you need to know about unsolicited goods have you received them or is it a mistake and you need to return them? Everything you need to know.

Further help

Top 20 Tips How to complain effectively

 

Cover of How to Complain updated 2019 large cow logo

 

If you need more help, information and tips with how to quote Acts, template letters and advice on how to complain effectively don’t forget the GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

 

 

Also more free tips here and on the Youtube channel.

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