5 Ways To Complain Effectively

When it comes to spending our money, we want to be getting the best quality of product and the best customer service. When this doesn’t happen, it can be rather frustrating, especially when we have forked out our hard earned cash on such things. Some people are too shy to complain but to avoid others having the same experience, complaining is definitely something you should do.

However, complaining effectively can be quite stressful.  You want to be sure you are in the right and then know how to do it properly. So here are my five ways on how to complain effectively when something goes wrong. 

1. Know what you are talking about

Firstly know what you are talking about. Many companies will try to help you as best as they can - but some companies will try to get rid of you as quickly as possible and assume you don’t know consumer regulations. Read about the Consumer Rights Act 2015 so you know your rights before you make a complaint. 

2. Know what you want to achieve

For example, if you had a bad experience with something you bought before you ring or turn up in person at customer services 
you should know exactly what it is you want to achieve from the complaint. Sometimes companies offer you certain things to resolve the complaint as quickly as possible, such as a promise it won't happen again and compensation such as vouchers. Some people take these then find themselves feeling a little frustrated that they didn’t achieve what they set out to. Knowing how you want to proceed means you can continue until you receive your desired outcome. 

If a complaint is resolved properly, and the company goes above and beyond what they need to then it's always good to give feedback to their head office too. A site such as Head Office Finder will give you contact details for numerous supermarkets such as the Asda Head Office contact number.

3. Use a complaint sandwich

Putting your negative complaint between two positives often helps it become resolved and can let the person you are complaining to see where you are coming from. The sandwich is made of three main ingredients, the 'ear opener' to make the listener sympathetic to your cause, some 'meat' that includes your complaint and suggested solution, and finally a sweet-sounding 'digestive' to motivate the listener to advocate on your behalf.

4. Be polite

Whilst you may be very cross, being calm and polite usually resolves things sooner in my experience. Social media complaints are often littered with posts full of CAPS Lock, excessive punctuation - and often, shockingly, foul language. At the end of the day, the person you are speaking to usually hasn’t played any part in the situation you are complaining about and it isn’t fair to talk to them like this.  Remain polite and they will be sure to help you to the best of their ability. If you are rude and threatening, they may terminate communication which they are well within their rights to do.

5. Set a deadline

You don’t want your complaint to go on forever and you are entitled to an explanation, if not an apology, within a certain time period. When making your complaint, give them a deadline in which you want it to be resolved so they don’t keep dragging it on. With a deadline in place, you’ll often find things resolve in a satisfactory way.

Whilst us British people like to complain about the weather, sport and other things like that, it seems we are often reluctant to actually complain when receiving shoddy service. I hope these tips help you in the future when considering making a complaint.

*Collaborative post.


  1. Great advice in this post - I definitely like the point about setting deadlines, it's so easy for things to just drag on and on...

  2. I have to say, I don't mind complaining, but then I am Irish and we are pretty direct. As long as you are polite and factual without making it personal, most companies will listen to an honest complaint.

  3. I never heard of a complaint sandwich but agree placing it with two positives would be a great idea!

    1. Hope it works for you, next time you have to complain.