101 Habits of an Effective Complainer. New consumer guide

“If complaining is an art form, Helen Dewdney is Rembrandt” – Robert Rinder TV Judge, Barrister TV Presenter

101 Habits if an Effective complainer book cover with logoNew consumer guide from best-selling author, The Complaining Cow – released 18 December

The British find it hard to complain and assert their legal rights and it’s even harder when they get fobbed off by companies. Consumers say it can take too much time or they just don’t know where to start. Even after embarking on a complaint, some quite simply don’t have the confidence to keep going. At last, help is at hand. Consumer Champion Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow, has written a new book 101 Habits of an Effective Complainer.

Cover of How to Complain updated 2019 large cow logo

 

The book is released on 18 December 2019 and follows the success of her earlier best-seller How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

Although written in an easy-to-read and light-hearted style, 101 Habits provides readers with the confidence to complain effectively, improving the way people make complaints, so as to get the results they want.

Each page provides a complaining habit to consider and an example of how and why it empowers the reader to become more effective in getting the results they want. These anecdotes come from Dewdney’s own experience or from one of the people she has helped to gain redress using that habit. Accompanying the habit and example is a novelty graphic to illustrate the point!

Whilst some consumer books give the information needed to complain, this new book is unique in that it helps to develop a new mindset for complaining effectively. By showing how and when to complain (and also compliment), the reader will feel empowered to be more positive and confident after reading and using a selection of the 101 habits. Regardless of the issue, whether it’s telecoms, retail, energy or finance, the same basic principles apply to complaining in any sector.

Reviews

Consumer champions have been quick to praise 101 Habits of an Effective Complainer.

When it comes to asserting one’s legal rights Barrister Robert Rinder (TV’s Judge Rinder) knows a thing or two. He says that Dewdney’s book is

“… easy to follow, beautifully written and – above all – teaches us that complaining effectively doesn’t require rudeness or angry sharp elbows. Dewdney’s book is a brilliant reminder that being a successful complainer (or getting what you were entitled to in the first place) is simple to achieve and can even be fun. Her superb how-to guide isn’t for ‘complainers,’ it’s for anybody who has ever been a consumer and been let down – it’s for all of us.”

Rinder isn’t the only consumer rights celebrity who has endorsed the book. Matt Allwright, presenter of BBC Watchdog, says:

“Helen’s book gets it spot on, and steers you away from all the complaining cul-de-sacs and coups de foudre. Before you pick up the phone or log in to Twitter – read it. A great result is probably closer than you think.”

Paul Lewis, the presenter of BBC Radio 4 Moneybox, puts it this way:
“If How to Complain is the essential companion to your shopping then 101 Habits should be by your laptop whenever you think you have been treated badly by a retailer or a business you have dealt with. Breathe deeply. Flex your fingers. And get complaining!”

101 Habits of an Effective Complainer will make a great Christmas present for anyone who needs more confidence in asserting their rights and getting the results they want!

What's in there then?

From Three to Zero – the network that’s a notwork

One, Two, Three, Down

Three mobile provider the situation

3 logo

The mobile network Three has gone down today (17/10/19). At the point of writing the company doesn’t seem to know what the problem is or when it will be fixed.

It seems to have been slow to inform people too, perhaps taking advantage of there being fewer people active late at night and into the early hours of the morning. However, this tactic backfired, as when the company eventually put up this message, it was more than 8 hours after people were first reporting problems:

 

Down Detector which measures the number of reports of an outage on social media, and shows more than 2100 reports by 10.00am today.

Three has not said how many of its 10 million customers have been affected by the outage.

Update from Three at 1.20pm

A Three spokesperson said: “Following technical difficulties with our services across voice, text and data, some customers will be experiencing an intermittent service.

Our engineers are working to fix the issue and the service is returning to normal, and we expect it to be resolved over the course of the day.

We advise our customers to turn their phones off and on or turn airplane mode on and off, which may resolve the issue.

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to our customers.”

Your consumer rights if you are affected by Three’s downtime

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 you are entitled to services to be carried out with reasonable skill and care. You are entitled to a full refund of the cost of the time you are without use of your phone. You are also entitled to redress for any out-of-pocket expenses you incurred due to not being able to use anything on your phone. For example, if you incurred bank charges because you couldn’t transfer money or had to use a payphone. You can claim for consequential losses due to Three’s breach of contract.

Once the system is back up and running, calculate your losses. Write do not phone the company so you have a record of evidence. Outline the problems you had and any costs you incurred and provide evidence for this. State what you want as redress and mention that it is because of a breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, as outlined above.

Get in quickly, as a huge queue of complaints will soon grow.

You can also jump the queue of complaints and complain directly to the CEO. Go to ceoemail.com for contact details. The CEO won’t respond personally but the matter does get escalated and dealt with by a different team to customer services.

If you are still not satisfied with the response you can take the matter to Ombudsman Services: Communications.

Your rights if affected by the outage – what Ofcom says

Ofcom states:

“Although no-one can guarantee an entirely fault free service, your provider should be working hard to maintain the level of service they promised.

In more extreme cases, where repairs take much longer (for example it takes longer than usual to access a mast site to undertake repairs), you may be entitled to an additional refund or account credit.

In cases where you have been without service for some time, you may also have the right to leave the contract without penalty. There may be a term in your contract saying you can do this if your provider has failed in its obligations to you or breached a key condition.”

More help with telecom issues

All you need to know about complaining to telecom providers for more information and posts about your rights and telecoms.

Cover of How to Complain updated 2019 large cow logo

 

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

Future for Three

In reality few people will be much out of pocket but it is the lack of information that has frustrated customers.

“Three customers on Twitter are saying that they have been pleased with the company’s service for years and can forgive them for this downtime. But they are unimpressed with the speed with which it acknowledged the problem and the lack of clarity about the issue and when it will be fixed. Three really needs to improve its customer service and communications if it doesn’t want to lose customers over this.

O2 network failures - your consumer rights