According to a recent survey carried out by Consumer Direct only a third of people think it is worth the effort complaining and are letting the providers of good and services get away with murder. For those that do bother to complain, it is important to do it in the right way to ensure you are successful.

The survey also demonstrated that 20% preferred not to complain, and 10% said they would  ask someone else to complain for them.  In terms of age group those that are least likely to complain were between the ages of 16 and 29 years old.

Michele Shambrook, Operations Manager for Consumer Direct said that it can be incredibly frustrating when the heels of your brand new shoes come off or the local handyman botches a repair job, but if you stay calm and complain the right way you increase your chance of getting the refund, repair or the replacement that you’re entitled to.

Consumer Direct has published advice and sample complaint letters on its website at www.consumerdirect.gov.uk . Among its top tips are:

  • Stay calm. You are more likely to get a satisfactory result if you are assertive rather than aggressive.
  • Be clear about how you want the problem to be resolved.
  • Act quickly. If there is a fault with a product or a service you should report this to the seller as soon as you can, confirm this in writing and keep a copy for your records. If you need to send any paperwork only send photocopies rather than originals.
  • Gather together everything you can by way of evidence – this could include photos or video footage. Try to keep in mind that you may have to go to court to obtain a refund and ask yourself what evidence you would need to put in front of a judge.
  • Create a complaint diary – use it to list what happened, when it happened and who you spoke to. This will help to jog your memory when you are discussing your complaint.
  • If you complain in person, ask to speak to the person in charge who may have the authority to resolve your issue.
  • If you are not sure about where you stand, check your legal rights before you confront the trader. If in doubt contact Consumer Direct for help.