Habits of an effective complainer – Tips 4, 5 & 6

Techniques to improve your complaining skills!

If you are not used to complaining, don’t like complaining, get fobbed off easily, but don’t like being out of pocket there are things you can do to help you improve your technique. New book out in December!

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Get 101 Habits of an Effective Complainer released 18 December 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

But in the meantime here are another three tips to start you off!

4)   Always write wherever possible

Unless urgent and essential, always write. On the phone it’s easier to be fobbed off, cut off and you don’t have a record should you need to take the matter further. See Why you should write not ‘phone to complain effectively.

There are numerous examples of how people have been caught out phoning, which wastes time and provides no evidence. Here’s an example from my blog: Jane commented that her 99-year-old disabled father had received 3 packages from a company containing cheap plastic models of cars. After the first package arrived she telephoned the company and, after a 25 minute wait on an automated call at 7p per minute, she spoke with someone who maintained her dad had telephoned them, ordered the ‘free’ first model and given them his bank card details. There is debate over this because there is no record. The woman agreed to put a stop on his ‘account’ so that “no further models would be sent out if he telephones us again” and she said he could keep the model without charge. Just a few weeks later another package arrived addressed to her father with an invoice and a different customer number. A couple of weeks later a third package arrived, with another invoice. She could not get through on the phone. Had this been dealt with initially in writing the further issues would not have arisen and even if they had she would have had a track record of evidence to show that the items should not have been delivered.

5)   Know your legal rights!

This is crucial. Get into the habit of finding them and using them. So many companies will try and fob you off but if you know your consumer rights it will be much more difficult for them! There are lots of consumer laws and regulations that can help with goods, services, holidays, flights, telecoms, energy etc. See All the laws and regulations you need to make a complaint about almost anything.

All my complaint letters get redress and nearly all of them mention the law in some way or another!

6)   Be realistic

When complaining you need to be reasonable in your requests. Demanding an amount way over what you are legally entitled to is likely to get short shrift from the company, and rightly so.

Quite often people will ask me if they should ask for more money, as compensation. It can be a difficult one because sometimes businesses will offer what they think they can get away with. But a good example would be the consumer who posted on my blog saying that she had been offered 50% refund for a washing machine that was unrepairable but had lasted 3 years. (The company is allowed to deduct an amount for use). I advised that this was reasonable.

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 you are entitled to items that last a reasonable length of time. If you search the Internet you will find reports that vary on this. For example, Which? states 6 years. But a court would also take into account the use. So if you had used it every day twice a day for three years this could be deemed as more than average use. You can take a company to court within 6 years from the date of purchase (this does not mean items should last 6 years). All things considered, a court would probably find 50% as reasonable. The consumer could have gone back and asked for more but was unlikely to get much more.

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For lots of help, consumer laws, advice and  templates GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

 

 

 

 

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Habits of an effective complainer – Tips 1, 2 and 3

Techniques to improve your complaining skills!

If you are not used to complaining, don’t like complaining, get fobbed off easily, but don’t like being out of pocket there are things you can do to help you improve your technique.

101 Habits if an Effective complainer book cover with logo

 

Get 101 Habits of an Effective Complainer released 18 December 2019.

 

 

 

 

But in the meantime here are just three tips to start you off!

1)   Practice

Take on a few simple complaints to get you started. Do this for friends and family, as well as for yourself. Easy wins on these will give you the confidence to take on more complex cases.

People have often said to me that they have never complained about anything because they just don’t know where to start. Often this means that when a big problem comes, that they have to deal with, they really struggle. Had they have practiced and complained about the poor service in the restaurant or the kettle that didn’t last a reasonable length of time they would have a better idea and feel more confident too.

2)   Give compliments too

This may seem contradictory. But this will help keep things balanced for you. This will be especially helpful if you don’t ever do it but as are also poor at complaining when things go wrong. When a staff member has given over and above what could be considered acceptable good service, write to the company to recognise the person for their excellent work. It will make you feel good, is a bit of “pay it forward” and you’ll feel more justified when you write to complain.

This positive behaviour can prevent you complaining unnecessarily and being seen as negative. Today, whilst writing this post I thanked and complimented a bank for dealing my query effectively and efficiently. I did this on Twitter so people could see. I have quite a history with Tesco as many readers of this blog know! I complain regularly but also compliment where appropriate too. This also shows people you are fair and balanced with your observations.

3)   Be polite!

Often the people to whom you are complaining to are not responsible for the faulty product or poor service and are more likely to respond to you positively if you are polite to them.

Think about it. If someone is rude to you, do you want to help them? In a supermarket the other day, I saw someone being really rude to an assistant. He was shouting and then got abusive but the assistant was very polite and was trying to calm the situation down. The customer wanted a refund on something but didn’t have the proof required that he had bought the item there. She refused to leave until they gave it to her. The security man escorted him out, without his refund. Had he been more polite, the customer services assistant might have been able to offer to help by searching the loyalty card history. He wouldn’t listen though, so he lost out.

Top 20 Tips for Complaining Effectively

 

Cover of How to Complain updated 2019 large cow logo

 

For lots of help, consumer laws, advice and  templates GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

 

 

 

 

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