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

The comprehensive guide to complaining effectively




How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results! is THE book you need to complain effectively! Using real-life examples, anecdotes, tips, consumer 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’s reviews:


How to purchase how to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

Cover of How to Complain updated 2019 large cow logoPurchase the paperback from Amazon including on Kindle* (other e versions from usual suspects)  How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!




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


Signed copies of How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

Retails at £15.00.

Website price £11.50

Please let me know what personalised message you would like written in the book or it will just have the signature. £11.50 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

Got a first, second or third edition 2017 of How to Complain?!

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.

On the following companions all the changes and additions are listed to bring your book up to date without having to purchase a new copy! However if you have a first or second edition you really should consider a new book now as all your companions are probably nearing the size of a book! It is over five years since the first book was released so a lot has changed!

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

Download free update 2  for 3rd edition

companion final 3 2019 for 3rd edition first revision

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:

Helen behind books signing, film strip of tv, radio newspapers, logos

Interview with Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow about the book

Radio London Nikki Bedi interviews Helen Dewdney

Reviews of How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

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

 “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

David Mcclelland review of How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide


“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

“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,


James walker reviewing How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

“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

More reviews from people who have bought the book here.

The Complaining Cow in the media

Helen Dewdney is a consumer journalist that has written for the Financial Times, Moneywise and is part of the Rip Off Britain consumer expert team. She appears on BBC Breakfast, Rip Off Britain, The One Show various BBC and ITV news programmes and regularly contributes to various national publications and BBC Radios 2, 4 and 5, such as The Jeremy Vine, Moneybox and You and Yours. For more see Moodia coverage and the showreel below.

Helen Dewdney Consumer Champion Showreel

Other downloadable publications from The Complaining Cow

Ombudsman Omnishambles: Serious unresolved issues affecting the operation of the ombudsman
ADR system in the UK by Marcus Williamson and Helen Dewdney. Covers poor approval and monitoring of ADR schemes in the non regulated area.

More Ombudsman Omnishambles: The UK ADR landscape 20 months on… by Marcus Williamson and Helen Dewdney. Covers  the  continued poor approval and monitoring of ADR schemes in the non regulated area. Includes issues with the increase in problem in the aviation sector, especially with AviationADR and expanding the number, and monitoring of the providers.

Whirlpool – The tumble dryer story without the spin by Helen Dewdney. FOIs of government department and Trading Standards, statistics and all the continued failings in bodies who should be improving product safety.

Case study: Tesco and a consumer champion from taking Tesco court and winning to meeting with and interviewing the UK and Group CEOs and more.

The Complaining Cow services

The Complaining Cow logo, complaints, consultancy, speaker, workshops and more


If you need help with a complaint or are a business that wants a critical friend to work with regarding complaint handling and customer service see The Complaining Cow Services for a wide range of creative and innovative approaches in addition to helping with complaint writing.





*Affiliate link

This book will help you get your money back and more for nearly every consumer complaint you could possibly have!

Share this

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

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 🙂

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

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

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,

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

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?


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.

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.

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! ?

Thank you. If you got from Amazon please do a review on there! You still can even if you didn’t get from Amazon just won’t come up as a verified purchase! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *