Why it ALWAYS Pays to Complain…Even When it Doesn’t!

why it always pays

Complaining, eh?
It’s not a very British thing, is it?

I know my US friends are (statistically) a little better at it, but most British people don’t complain very well.
We don’t want to make a fuss, or a scene.
We are often unsure of our rights.
Sometimes we can’t be bothered with the hassle.

Having said that, I know plenty of British people who love to gripe and moan.
However, it’s not usually to formally complain to the person (or company) they have beef with.
Most complaining goes on in hushed voices, behind peoples backs using phrases like

“I’m raging about this!”
“I’m going to slap her face one of these days!”
“I’m never coming back here again, it’s was awful….he was SO rude!”
“This fell to bits after one wash, what a rip off!
“The food/service was an outrage!”

why it always pays

Unfortunately, most of these complaints are made in the ear of a friend (or colleague) who either agrees with the gripe, or lacks the guts to tell the moaner to shut up… “Either give it a rest, or do something about it!!”.

As much as I love a good chat, I really dislike pointless moaning.
Procrastination is one of my pet peeves.

{Stop yacking and start doing!}

If I’ve got a complaint then I’m complaining to someone who can do something about it, and hopefully fix things for me.
I don’t fester and seethe….it’s a waste of valuable energy that could be channelled into an email!

It always pays to complain…. even when it doesn’t actually pay!
That goes for the complainee as well as the complainer!

why it always pays

Recently I complained to two companies…for totally different reasons.
One handled it well, the other pretty (very) poorly.

The first complaint was with a family restaurant in Edinburgh, called Jamie’s Italian.
I emailed the company to complain that during the last two visits the service was so slow it was practically glacial, and the food was poor (overpriced and cold).

{Cold food is a deal breaker for me!}

I couldn’t complain at the time, or send the food back, as the service had been so slow we were very late and had to run for a train…. quite literally!

I felt angry and let down, so I did something about it.

I complained.
The manager took details, and listened.
Then she did something that makes good business sense.
She offered me four main courses as a “Way of saying sorry”.

So, not only did she make me feel like a valued customer but, she managed to get me (and my hard earned cash) back in the door.
Plus, we bought drinks and desserts on top of our ‘Free’ food, so the company made more money.
This seemed completely logical to me.
It’s simply good business sense.

The second recipient of my complaint didn’t handle it very well at all!
{Shakes head}

My friend had bought me a pair of Heist tights, as she had seen them advertised on Facebook and knows I love hosiery.
It was such a thoughtful gift.

I was thrilled, as they looked fab and I’m always on the look out for new tights!
Unfortunately, the tights split from the waistband when I took them off at the end of the day.
They were unfixable and unwearable as they had developed a huge run all the way down the leg.

I felt awful because my friend had spent £25 on them, and she would (understandably) feel sad if I told her.

So, I complained directly to the company.
Thinking they would ask me to send the damaged pair to them, assess the damage/fault and send me a replacement.
That makes good sense, right?
Erm….. apparently not!

First, they made it really difficult for me to lodge my complaint without actually involving my friend, and getting details of her order (which I was hoping to avoid).
Then, they said they were bought over 28 days ago and couldn’t be returned…I’d already explained they were a gift.
Then they said that I was given a pair of size 6-8 tights and my gigantic 8-10 bum must have been too big for them.

{Okay, not those exact words but it was not dressed up subtly!}

Not even an offer of a discount off a new pair, or anything.
I was a little perplexed.

I’m no business brainbox but surely this isn’t good practise?
Not only have they lost me as a potential customer (and I buy LOTS of tights) but they have also lost my friend.
It just doesn’t make business sense!

If it was my company, I would send out a new pair PLUS a £10 discount voucher towards another pair, thus making my customer feel valued and practically guaranteeing further sales from that person and everyone they tell about my great customer service!

3 Reasons it ALWAYS Pays to Complain

1. It makes you feel better

Don’t be a moaner, be proactive.
If you have an issue tackle it.
Even the process of making the complaint can make you feel so much better, even if nothing happens about it.
Plus, your friends will thank you!

2. You might get a little something for your trouble

Making your complaint could result in a free dinner, a refund, a discount voucher a brand new product or compensation.
You’ve got nothing to lose.

3. You can move on

Making your complaint heard can help you move on from a situation.
The tights could have niggled in the back of my head, and I might have been tempted to buy another pair (mine may have been faulty) just so I had the tights and did not upset my friend.
However, even though complaining didn’t get me good service, I’ve still leaned something.
I won’t be back and neither will she, so money has been saved.

Are you a good complainer?
Can you share any good experiences…..or bad ones?
I’d love to hear about them!

Share your story here (in the comments) or send me an email… samantha44blair(at)gmail.com
I love hearing your thoughts!

Last week the lovely Nancy’s post caught my eye…. cats in Santa costumes???

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