HOW TO COM­PLAIN ef­fec­tively and get re­sults!

Good Housekeeping (UK) - - News -

Ev­ery week, one in six of us ex­pe­ri­ences bad ser­vice, yet how of­ten do we do noth­ing about it? With the power of so­cial me­dia, it’s eas­ier than ever to be heard. Find out how...


How you go about com­plain­ing de­pends on how you paid for some­thing. So if you bought clothes on the high street, you’re bet­ter off go­ing back to the store. Keep your com­plaint con­cise and take ev­i­dence such as re­ceipts and pho­tos of the prod­ucts. GH TIP: Be sure of your rights. Head to good­house­keep­ con­sumer-ad­vice for our tips on re­turns and com­plaints.


It’s cru­cial to com­plain to a per­son who has the power to re­solve the prob­lem. Some­times all you need to do is Google the com­pany’s cus­tomer ser­vice depart­ment. If that doesn’t work, go to com­pa­ and type the full name of the com­pany into the Com­pa­nies House Ser­vice search en­gine, eg ‘Marks & Spencer PLC’. This gives you the ad­dress and rel­e­vant peo­ple to con­tact. Choose the ‘peo­ple’ tab and scroll down to find a com­pany direc­tor or sec­re­tary. GH TIP: There’s a great on­line tool from Moneysav­ingex­pert called Re­ It has a bank of com­pa­nies’ de­tails and pro­vides tem­plate let­ters to send them, a place to store your ev­i­dence and tells you when or how to es­ca­late the prob­lem.


It’s easy to for­get the per­son you’re speak­ing to is hu­man! Be po­lite but don’t be a pushover. The clearer and firmer you are, the more likely you are to get a re­sult. If you’re get­ting nowhere with an em­ployee, ask to speak to a man­ager. GH TIP: Don’t pay for re­turns of dam­aged or faulty goods. Ask cus­tomer

ser­vices to ar­range col­lec­tion or send you a freep­ost sticker. John Lewis, Ama­zon, Deben­hams, Boots, M&S and Bo­den do this. Argos and Cur­rys PC World will also pick up larger items for you.


Keep a record of all your con­ver­sa­tions. Take a friend along as a wit­ness if you go in per­son, down­load web chats and note de­tails of phone con­ver­sa­tions.


Al­most half of us ex­pect a re­ply within 24 hours when we send an email, ac­cord­ing to the In­sti­tute of Cus­tomer Ser­vice, but that’s not al­ways re­al­is­tic. All com­pa­nies have a com­plaints pro­ce­dure, which may mean you have to wait weeks be­fore you get sat­is­fac­tion. Take note and chase if no one ac­knowl­edges within two weeks.


In some cases, such as train de­lays, leav­ing it for longer than a month might mean you can’t claim at all. If you’ve had a prod­uct for longer than its guar­an­tee, you might not be el­i­gi­ble for a re­fund, but you could qual­ify for a re­pair. GH TIP: Push for a re­fund or re­pair rather than a credit note so you don’t get stuck if the com­pany goes bust.

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