How to Make a Complaint

by Contributor; Updated September 26, 2017
Being confrontational with the wrong person is the worst way to complain.

When you fail to receive a product or service as promised, it is important that you make your dissatisfaction known. Some companies have an established complaint procedure for customers to pursue. Others simply publish an address or toll-free number, stating that satisfaction is guaranteed. Thus, it is up to you to make contact, explain your dissatisfaction and the resolution you are seeking. Following a few simple strategies will improve your odds of achieving a favorable outcome.

Step 1

Make a list of your complaints. Specify exactly what was wrong with the product or service you received.

Step 2

Declare the resolution you desire, whether an exchange, money back or a free trial. Be reasonable. For example, if your meal did not include the French fries you ordered, asking for a free meal is inappropriate. A more reasonable request is to receive two free French fries either now or with your next order.

Step 3

Find out whom to contact to lodge the complaint. Usually you can call customer service and start there.

Step 4

Write a complaint letter, if you would rather do it in writing. Include your contact information so the company can easily respond with an answer or a request for more information. Include the reason for your dissatisfaction and your desired response. Always be courteous and professional. Follow up with a phone call if you receive no response.

Step 5

Call customer service, explain the issue and request resolution. Be polite. Shouting and profanity may make some feel better at the moment but will lead nowhere. If the customer service representative is of little help, request a supervisor. If necessary, continue requesting supervisors on up until you can achieve resolution. Often, however, if you establish rapport with the customer service representative and are kind, courteous and reasonable, asking for help in resolving the issue for your mutual benefit, you will tend to get the resolution you desire. Kill with kindness, but mention that you will take your business elsewhere, if necessary. However, only say this if the person exhibits a lack of responsiveness.

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