Not sure how to complain? The Queen Of Complaints is delighted to share some of her Rules…
1. If you are dissatisfied, do not forget that you have paid money. Why do you not deserve what you have paid for?
2. Always complain in writing – in that way you have a proper record of the situation. We all know that emails can get lost in the ether and Twitter only allows you up to 140 characters. Letter-writing also means you can enclose photographs, documents and receipts to support your case.
3. My 60 Minute Rule: Write your complaint letter within sixty minutes of the bad experience occurring while that moment is still fresh. Don’t worry too much about the writing style, you can always return and edit it later.
4. Always complain to the person at the top. You might not get a response from them personally, but at least your complaint will (usually) be treated seriously and handed to someone with proper authority. Customer services departments are often inundated – particularly if you telephone them with your complaint. A) you will have trouble getting through to them, and B) they will put you on hold for annoyingly long periods of time. Complaining to MDs and CEOs also gives them the chance to know of problems affecting their customers. For my tutorial on finding the CEO’s contact details, click here.
5. Be polite. A polite and irritated, rather than a rude and angry tone is more likely to achieve a positive outcome in your letter.
6. Be truthful. You can be colourful and witty when writing your letter – mildly dramatic if necessary, but no porkies please. Remember, two wrongs do not make a right.
7. Adopt a learned tone in your letter. The product or service you are complaining about might have been sloppy, but you are not. It is important the complainee believes you to be exacting and observant, a person of integrity. Use phrases such as ‘I felt it necessary to put pen to paper’ and ‘I found myself compelled to write’.
8. Don’t let travel delays get the better of you. Empower yourself by using that time to write to the company responsible. Use your mobile to take any relevant photographs to be used as photographic evidence to support your cause.
9. For my tutorial on complaining in restaurants, click here.
10. Remember that by writing a complaint letter, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
PS. If you really have trouble locating your inner complainer, clickhere.