How to become a super-complainer

If you'd rather seethe quietly than make a complaint when something's gone wrong, you're not alone.
Don't put up with shoddy goods or services... but being rude won't help your case. Picture: ThinkstockDon't put up with shoddy goods or services... but being rude won't help your case. Picture: Thinkstock
Don't put up with shoddy goods or services... but being rude won't help your case. Picture: Thinkstock

According to free complaints service,, common reasons people give for not complaining include not believing they could win, worrying it could take too long and being put off by the idea that the process might be too complicated.

Resolver founder James Walker says: “Let’s dispel a few myths. It’s dead easy to make a complaint and it doesn’t have to take long at all.”

Here are his top tips.

Keep it simple

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Focus on the key issues. Start with what you wanted or were expecting, explain what went wrong, and finish with what you want to sort out the complaint.

Be polite

Even customer service experts trying to be fair can be swayed by rudeness. That can extend to formatting in a complaints letter or emails, like overusing capital letters, making letters bold and underlining text.

Bullet points help you focus

Even if you hate writing, it can be tempting to start drafting the complaint version of War And Peace when you get going. Why not try writing out bullet points? It keeps your complaint straightforward and you’re more likely to remember key information.

Get help

Not everyone feels comfortable putting their thoughts into writing, and for various reasons, it can be good to get some support. Organisations have a range of ways they can help you make a complaint. Free help from Citizens Advice and other charities can help you get started.

Photograph your documents

One of the leading reasons people give up on complaints is admin. Often, businesses will ask you to send in documents to support your case. Firstly, avoid sending originals. Photograph your documents and attach them to a complaint using a smartphone.

Do your research

If you’ve got a parking ticket you want to challenge, then it makes sense to snap a few photographs to back up your case. The same goes for many complaints. If you can gather evidence, even links online to other people who’ve had the same problem with a product or service, it can help.

Tell it from the heart

It’s often easy for businesses to miss the personal aspect of problems. So take a moment to explain the impact an error has had on you. You don’t need to lay it on thick – but if a situation has caused you some distress, it’s important that the business understands why.

Don’t give up

And finally, if you don’t get the answer you want at first, ask about escalating your complaint. Many industries have ombudsmen or dispute resolution schemes you can take your complaint to for free. It shouldn’t take long at all to make a complaint – and you can make one in just a few minutes if you plan a little in advance. Get started today at

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