Types of Customer Complaints

Customer complaints come in all shapes and sizes. Complaints can be generated by everything from product malfunctions to improperly trained or uncaring employees. Understanding the main types of customer complaints is key to handling them correctly.


Customers receive products or services that do not operate correctly. This common complaint can be handled by fixing the product or replacing it with a new one. Customer service training expert Myra Golden cautions against blaming the customer when a product is faulty.

Wait Times

Long wait times are frustrating to many customers. Whether on the phone or in a store, lengthy queue times will generate customer complaints simply because time is precious for customers.


Miscommunication, by the customer or the company or both, can trigger complaints. Minimizing misunderstanding requires knowledgeable associates and accurate marketing materials. The Small Business advice website morebusiness.com suggests that even when the customer is clearly confused, treating him with respect helps retain business.

Delivery Error

With online shopping on the rise, delivery errors increase. Upset customers may complain to the company, but the company may use an independent shipper, complicating complaint resolution.


Customers may feel slighted by employees who are rude or uncaring. Golden warns that customer service representatives and other employees must remain caring and polite even when dealing with angry customers.



About the Author

Jason Reeher has been a freelance writer for 20 years. Reeher's opinions have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including "USA Today" and "The Wall Street Journal." He holds a master's degree in business and public administration from the University of Phoenix.