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What have you got to complain about?

Angry face bursting through paper

We love a good old moan here at Which? Conversation, but only when it’s constructive. That’s why today’s National Complaints Day could be a useful addition to the calendar…

When was the last time you had to complain about a holiday? Fortunately, for me it was nearly 10 years ago, when I went on a package to a hotel in a French ski resort and could touch nearly all four bedroom walls at the same time.

The rep gently fobbed me off and told me that it would be difficult – or nearly impossible -to move because it was peak season. This was clearly in my pre-Which? days and I naively put up with his feeble excuse and stayed put, albeit angrily.

Unfortunately, I’m not alone in my experience of making an unsuccessful complaint. Research for Which? Legal Service has just found that half of people who made a complaint about their holiday in the last three years were left feeling disgruntled about the outcome. This was often because they felt, as I did, fobbed off by the person they complained to.

My experience of one complaint in nearly 10 years of holidays is pretty good going though. I feel quite lucky. Especially since the research found that one in ten holidaymakers made a complaint about a trip in the last three years.

Today is National Complaints Day – perhaps not the most celebratory of national days. Still, if it means that more people learn how to write the most effective complaint, or get support to make a complaint in the first place, then it’s probably a day worth having.


What have I got to complain about?….. LOTS!

The fact that things ‘on sale’ always appear to have been that cheap on several previous occasions throughout the previous year….

The fact that there appear to be so many blind drivers on the roads when cyclists are around…

The fact that energy companies are allowed to advertise ‘savings’ on their tariffs each Springtime, once they’ve made their Winter profits charging higher fees and are then in their low season….

That ISPs are still allowed to advertise high speeds for broadband when, if you have a download-crazed set of neighbours, you might get a speed drought that results in a mere trickle of bits’n bytes to your doorstep…

The fact that the most over-used call centre phrase “your call is important to us” has not been banned by the advertising standards agency, or whatever they’re called these days….

The fact that there’s even something so daft as a ‘National Complaints Day’ in the first case…

Well, you did ask, didn’t you……….

Is the glass half full or half empty?( An engineer would tell you it’s twice as big as it needs to be.) We can all have a good moan at many things but, that’s so easy. Saying “well done” should be just as common. I’ve spent my life encouraging those who fail and its so much better than kicking those who get it wrong. Of course there are crooks and cowboys out there. So if you have a gripe, sort it and get on with being positive again. Simplistic perhaps and not always practical, but it’s a good trend to follow.