For all you doubting Thomases out there, I thought I’d showcase some great examples of why complaining is really worth it – from free Olympic tickets to big bucks off your maintenance bill.
I won’t lie. Complaining can be a time consuming, frustrating process and is often a hassle we could all do without.
But standing firm and making your case can really pay off in the end. Here are some great examples of people who have complained successfully…
Don’t ask, don’t get
Don’t let a slow postal delivery be a valid excuse for missing a deadline, as Linda told us on a previous Conversation:
‘I was recently sent an opportunity to enter a prize draw by a well-known department store. Unfortunately my “unique entry number” was received after the closing date for entries so I emailed them suggesting politely that they look into their post room and also said it was not the service I expected from them, they replied that they would submit an entry in my name.
‘I won two £420 tickets to the last athletics session of the Games, a meal for two and a night in a hotel. I think there is a lesson in this!’
No complaint is too small, even when it comes to a jar of jam, as my colleague Jenny Driscoll found out:
‘When I opened a jar of jam, I found some kind of insect crawling around the top. I went back to the supermarket and was told that I couldn’t take it back as I didn’t have the receipt. The name of the supermarket was on the label, as it was a home-brand. I complained to the CEO and later got £40 worth of vouchers and an apology.’
Why you should take a stand
My husband’s brother Josh found there’s a limit to what you should stand for:
‘My wife and I missed our Eurostar train to Paris a few years ago due to a huge and disorganised backlog at the automatic ticket machines (despite arriving an hour and half early).
‘We complained (asking to speak to a senior manager straight away) and were upgraded to first class on the next available train – including a free meal and Champagne. We were also given two free open return tickets to Paris. Not bad, especially as we only arrived at our destination three hours later than planned!’
My sister Clemency found that refusing to settle for poor workmanship paid off in the end:
‘I complained to Southwark Council – who own the leasehold to my flat – about the really poor quality of workmanship after my windows were replaced. After a long and unpleasant complaints process, the work was re-done to a good standard and my bill was reduced from £14,000 to £4,000. Was it worth it? Yes, despite the battle.’
So there you have it. Hopefully that’s enough evidence to persuade you that it’s worth complaining! Have you had any positive experiences of complaining? Do you have any advice to share on how to complain successfully?