GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

Using real-life examples, anecdotes, tips, advice and handy template letters, you are helped to  overcome the hurdles of the consumer complaints process. The book provides essential advice on consumer law, how to complain effectively, how and where to take things further when you don’t get a satisfactory response including useful contacts.

The result of over 30 years of experience. See below for Paul Lewis financial journalist and others’ reviews. See Amazon for more. (Affiliate link).

Purchase the paperback from Amazon including on Kindle (other e versions from usual suspects). Signed copies from The Express BookshopRadio Times bookshop and  personalised ones from here.

No.1 bestseller

How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results! Signed copies – please let me know what personalised message you would like written in the book or it will just have the signature. £10.50. If the stupid thing doesn’t give you an option to put a message you would like, don’t be beaten! Email me saying you have just bought the book and the message you would like!

Books are dispatched within 5 days

If you prefer not to purchase on line you can purchase from the Express Bookshop. Please make cheques/postal orders payable to The Express Bookshop and send to Express Bookshop, PO Box 200, Falmouth TR11 4WJ or call 01872 562310 to order by phone.

If you like to support independent bookshops you can also
buy at the North Chingford Bookshop

Got a first or second edition?
I’m not about getting as many sales as I can and wanting people who have just bought the book to buy another one. I’m about ensuring as many people as possible know their legal rights and don’t get fobbed off. So with that in mind, if you have the first or second edition please download the following which you should print up and keep with your book. After October 1st 2015 refer to the guide which will give you the changes you need for templates etc.

Download free update if you have a 1st or 2nd edition

Download free update for 3rd edition

To ensure you get the free updates to the book and the latest information regarding consumer rights and The Complaining Cow, subscribe to the newsletter:


Buy this book. And next time a shop or bank or holiday firm fails you, take it off the shelf, find out what to do, and complain. Always write (“I don’t do phone calls”), quote the law they’ve broken (each section begins with a thorough guide), state clearly what you want (everything plus compensation), and end the letter with your next step if you don’t get it (right up to court action). How to Complain is by turns homely and thorough. Helen Dewdney has complained about every kind of poor service and, from what she says, always wins. She knows precisely what her rights are and how to get them. Her guiding principle is never take yes for an answer. If you want £100 compensation and they offer £50 write back and demand £200. How to complain is in itself a model. The title is accurate. And it delivers what it promises. It should strike fear into any firm that doesn’t. And make them change before we have to write that letter.” Paul Lewis, financial journalist

“An excellent source of help, advice and information for consumers who want to understand their rights and how to enforce them. The Complaining Cow has assembled all the key consumer legislation together with the common problems that consumers encounter. This book helps the reader to navigate the complexities of complaining by offering practical tips to avoid the pitfalls that consumers sometimes fall in – and throws a ladder down for those who have already fallen in.” Kevin Grix, Chief Executive, Dispute Resolution Ombudsman, The Furniture Ombudsman

 “Too timid to assert your rights? Too shy to complain? Don’t be. In ‘How to Complain’, Helen Dewdney has compiled a quick-to-navigate and easy-to-understand book that guides readers through their consumer rights and how to assert them – with a minimum of fuss. Packed with practical advice, handy complaint letter templates and real-life success stories, ‘How to Complain’ has quickly become an essential reference in our house.” David McClelland Consumer / Technology Presenter & Journalist

“This is a great book which will go a long way in helping us to deal with any problems we have with companies. The advice is excellent and there is practical help as well. On energy most of us do not understand what kind of service we have a right to expect, what we can complain about and how to go about doing this. I think the book should be prominently displayed in every library and other public places.  Once people realise it is available they will use it to get much needed help to tackle poor service.  Hopefully if enough of us do this things may change for the better.” Ann Robinson, Consumer Champion

 “This is the book that everyone needs for solving their consumer issues. Using a wide variety of excellent template letters, legal explanations and clear worked examples, The Complaining Cow shows us how to get problems resolved simply and efficiently. The book will pay for itself the first time you use it.” Marcus Williamson, Editor,

 “If you had to keep one book with you so that you know what to do if something goes wrong, it would be this one. The Complaining Cow has gathered all the consumer information that you need into a single book. It is the book that saves a thousand searches, as all the answers are in one place!” James Walker, MD

“This is the essential consumer guide to refunds, redress and results from companies when something goes wrong. It has 28 chapters with all the information you need to make a complaint covering; Consumer rights, Buying goods, Financial services, Utilities, Insurance, Holidays, eBay, Royal Mail, Parking tickets and lots more …

Helen has been complaining for over 30 years, starting in the school playground. This book gives a wonderful insight in to how it all started. Apart from covering your legal and statutory rights as a consumer, it also has an index so you can find the information you require very easily without having to read the book from cover to cover.

It also has very handy templates to help you make your complaints, whether that is returning a defective product or complaining of a mis-sold product or service, or even unfair bank charges. So no more sitting in front of a blank screen or page trying to decide what to write and then not bothering to make your complaint as you don’t know how to word it. It also has examples of real complaints, the responses to them and the outcomes, so you can see what is possible by making a reasonable complaint.

Overall this is a very handy guide for making complaints when a product, service or company fails in their responsibilities to their customers. While you may think it is heavy reading, it isn’t, it has humour and is written in an easy to understand format. It covers acts of law that you may or may not have heard of and is a good reference book so you wouldn’t necessarily read it all in one go but the stories of real life problems are worth reading.

If you think that shouting and arguing with a company is the way to get your point across and get what you want or think you deserve, you are wrong, this book will point you in the right directions with the law on your side.

This is a book that every consumer needs to read, dispelling some of the myths around your rights as a customer and what the seller can and can’t do. An excellent reference book.” Debbie Talbot & David Savage, What’s Good to Do.

More reviews from people who have bought the book here.

55 thoughts on “GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!”

    1. oooooooooooh that’s a bit technical isn’t it?! Think you will have to just order twice sorry! If the postage is the same for two books I’ll refund you a couple of quid – but I don’t know yet!! Sorry! It is at the printers. Put on the note if you would like them signed and if so any message. You can even choose the colour pen 🙂

  1. well i just tried to get my book (signed) but my card was refused, i think this may be to do with pay pal not liking my bank which is Metro bank. Its only fair i suppose because i do not like paypal, Kind Regards Martin “Idiot” Sutton

    1. Not yet!! Sorry – but feel free to go into your independent book shops and suggest they stock it. Even better tell Tesco 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Pingback: Email the CEO!
  3. I would like to order four signed copies of the book.
    One for myself and one for each of my three sons.
    All to be delivered to the one address.
    Does this have to be done as four separate orders ?
    Please advise.
    I am not familiar with social media sites, as I only ever use email and ebay, hence some steering towards the relevant page and how to sign on / process the purchase would be invaluable to me.

    Many Thanks,

    1. Hi – yes you will need to do as 4 separate purchases – sorry don’t think this thing can be made to work for additional copies, I tried and failed! You just click through, paying by Paypal same as ebay – please do put any message you would like me to write in each of the books. Thanks

  4. Hi, do you have a section on financial company complaints?
    eg brokers who pass on your details or incorrect details to banks and loss of your personal details? or is this out of the scope of the book?


    1. For those specific incidences it is a simple breach of DPA and you’d report to ICO. (Information Commissioners Office as it is do with communications not Finance). There is a chapter on Finance covering banks/building societies, unfair charges, administration, unauthorised transactions, direct debit, credit cards, unauthorised transactions chargeback and Financial Ombudsman. Hope that helps.

  5. Dear Helen Dewdney. I bought your book. Carefully referred to info on Ombudsman,having exhausted the Complaints Procedure with our local council.
    Told by omb’s rep that my complaint would not be seen by omb’s – suggested that I sue the council.
    The rep did not seem to grasp the salient points in my copies of all the relevant info sent. I am not sure how to continue with this complaint ?
    My apologies for the length of this em. Would greatly appreciate any advice.

    1. Without the details of the issue I can’t really advise. Sounds very odd that ombudsman should advise suing though. If they advise suing why not just see in your favour?! I’d send everything to the Chief Ombudsman directly asking why and for them to take another look. If the book has proved useful please do a Review! 😀

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