Ever bought something that’s fallen apart within days? Or spent hours in an airport after a delayed flight? Both would be a day Mr Bean would be proud of. But if it happened to you, would you write a letter of complaint?
If the idea of complaining brings you out in a cold sweat, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to know what to say, and to know what your rights are – especially in the face of a company insisting they’re not doing anything wrong.
But it is worth it – after all, complaining may lead to refunds and even compensation.
Why writing is worthwhile
Putting pen to paper can be your best option. This gives you a record of correspondence and you can clearly articulate your exact reasons for complaining. Complaining over the phone or in person can put you under pressure, and emotions can sometimes get in the way.
Take the blog Lettersofadissatisfiedwoman.com as an example. Ingrid Stone has written to various companies, complaining about everything from pens that don’t work properly to dental floss that made her gums bleed. Her calm and collected letters of complaint have resulted in refunds and often compensation, whether this is in cash or gift vouchers.
Examples of her complaints and compensation include one free night’s stay in Corus Hotel in Hyde Park due to a poor hotel room, six complimentary return Club Europe plane tickets from British Airways for a delayed flight, and a £35 Moneycard from Tesco for poor quality balloons.
Impressive! Just shows the power of a letter when companies have been in the wrong – and you don’t have to be angry to get your point across.
But what should I say?!
We have nearly 100 template letters on our Consumer Rights website, put together by our team and legal experts. Over the last six or so months there have been over 7,000 letter downloads from our site – the most popular being our letter before a small claims court claim.
One person who went to the small claims court is Helen, aka The Complaining Cow, who took Tesco to court for not honouring vouchers. She won to the tune of £166. Helen never lets any complaint go and has gained redress from companies like Mothercare, Virgin, Natwest, Easyjet and BMW.
So, if you’ve had an unfair parking ticket or your shoes have fallen apart after one trip, how do you complain? Do you believe in the written word, or do you never get round to writing a letter?
How do you prefer to complain to companies?
By letter (hand-written or email) (66%, 63 Votes)
Over the phone (17%, 16 Votes)
In person (9%, 9 Votes)
On social media (6%, 6 Votes)
I don't complain to companies (2%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 96