Complaining about customer service Complaining about faulty goods

Why you suck at gaining redress (and what to do about it)

So, you got poor service at the restaurant and didn’t complain or if you did complain you didn’t gain redress. You bought an item that’s faulty but didn’t get a refund. Why? What’s going on? How can you get that to which you are entitled?!

You need the adjustment

1) Your expectations are too low

You think that the item was cheap so what do you expect? You think the meal you had at that place last time was bad so you aren’t surprised when it is again. If a kettle was bought to boil water it should boil water. Simple! If you buy a meal it should be made with reasonable skill and care. If you had a bad meal there last time you should have complained and maybe things would have improved!

2) You don’t know your legal rights

The main one you need to know is The Consumer Rights Act 2015.  Items should be of satisfactory quality, be fit for purpose, be as described and last a reasonable length of time.

3) You think it will take too much time and effort

Going back to the shop arguing about refunds. Well, if you know your legal rights you won’t be arguing you’ll be assertive and if you still don’t gain redress you can take the matter further by which time you will be asking for more than a refund.

4) You shout at people on the ‘phone or in person.

Would you give me what I wanted if I yelled at you? Think, be polite particularly as often the person or people at fault aren’t usually the people to whom you complain. And in any case it is always better to write not ‘phone to complain effectively.

5) You’ve gone back to the wrong shop!

Yes I have heard of this being done, frequently! Check your facts first.

6) You think that because you have lost the receipt that you can’t get your money back

Wrong. You just need proof of purchase such as a credit card bill.

7) You don’t like complaining and aren’t assertive.

Fair enough, but seriously? You’d rather be out of pocket? If you are in the right you have nothing to worry about! And you can and should write, not do in person where possible anyway! See above!

8) You are complaining about something trivial and you aren’t out of pocket

There is a difference between complaining about 69p because it is the principle of the thing and complaining that you don’t like the colour of the carpet.

So, get out there and complain when something goes wrong! Much more at Top 20 Tips for effective complaining

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


For more information, tips, advice, guidance, consumer rights and templates see GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!



101 Habits if an Effective complainer book cover with logo


How to get better at complaining! 101 Habits of an Effective Complainer

5 top tips for complaining effectively

By Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist
Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

2 replies on “Why you suck at gaining redress (and what to do about it)”

It’s easy to have a good experience when complaining, which I have found recently. Little things I would have swallowed are a reason to go to the shop and let the staff there help me. I still have the option of shopping elsewhere, but I don’t need to abandon a place for a single mistake. So, if you have a small complaint, air it. Be polite. It helps.

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