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12 Correct Ways to Complain


No one is perfect. There are times that you will not receive an appropriate level of service. Offering a complaint can generate a resolution. It could also create a bigger headache than what you’ve already got.

That’s why it is so important to complain the right way. These ideas will help to get you started.

1. Offer Proof
Many complaints end up pitting your word against what the offending party is saying. Collect as much proof as you can about the situation before offering your complaint. Videos and photographic evidence can help to override a protest from the other side.

2. Know What You Want
Many complaints fizzle out because the resolution is either unreasonable or unclear. You’re not going to get $1 million because your fries are cold. A replacement or a full refund, so you can be made whole, is not an unreasonable expectation. Be clear about what it is that you want.

3. Contact the Right Person
When you must make a complaint, then make sure you file it with the correct person. Many assume that is a supervisor or manager in charge, though that is not always the case. You may need to go up the chain-of-command. If you’re not sure, file a complaint with a governing authority or an organization like the Better Business Bureau.

4. Keep Records
Complaints can take a long time to resolve. Never trust the company to keep full records of your contact with them. Keep your own records. List each person that you talk with and what you were instructed to do. Track any costs you have.

5. Neutralize Your Emotions
When poor service occurs, the natural response is to become indignant, frustrated, or downright angry. Complaints tend to be taken more seriously when the negative emotions are disconnected from the situation. Stay calm and respectful and you’ll have a better shot at getting noticed.

It is important to escalate your complaint if you feel like you’re not being helped. Just 5% of people with a valid complaint actually go up to a new layer of management. If you’re still not getting an answer, try talking about your situation on social media. Investigate any legal rights you may have. That way you have a good chance of being made whole.

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