Complaining or Complimenting?
We all enjoy a spot of praise now and again, and remember to praise where praise is due. Express your thanks when something goes well. BUT if you find yourself in a position of being dissatisfied with a product or service, follow our simple guide to making an effective complaint.
- In the first instance, give the business an opportunity to put things right. We all make mistakes, and a good business can be judged on successful complaints handling.
- Find out if the business has a complaints procedure and promptly follow it. If they don’t, ask. If the business is a member of a trade association or signed up to a code of conduct, that body may have a separate complaint handling procedure.
- It may be helpful to make it clear that you are making a formal complaint and then go on to:
* Identify yourself, quoting your customer number or any other references.
* Tell them briefly why you are unhappy/dissatisfied and what the problem is in chronological order.
*Include supporting evidence: photographs, surveys, independent test reports, invoices, screen shots. Copies will do. Keep the originals.
*Set out what the impact of the problem on you has been e.g. any financial loss, inconvenience or distress.
*Say how the issue made you feel and what you want done to either put matters right or compensate you for their failings.
*If you are suggesting a monetary figure, you may want to explain how you came by that figure.
*If you are filling in an online complaints form and you have to categorise your submission, make sure you select complaint rather than comment. Complaints should be taken seriously and require action; comments can be ignored!
*Keep good records. Don’t assume you will be sent a copy of your online submission via e-mail when you press send or submit. Be prepared to take a screen shot and note down any reference numbers.
Monitor the businesses actions against those in their complaints handling procedures, remembering to keep copies of all documentation, emails, key actions, notes of conversations, and dates.
If the business fails to resolve the complaint to your satisfaction, there may be other sources of help or avenues for progressing the complaint. For example, the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman is an independent body that resolves complaints about financial services provided from Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark. It has powers to investigate complaints and can compel financial services providers to pay compensation if it upholds a complaint.
progress your complaint and advise on your rights and all complaints relating to consumer goods and services.
The Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman is a free alternative to taking a dispute with a financial products and services to court. They are independent, informal and confidential.
The Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman,
PO Box 114,
Tel: 01534 748610
For all other complaints relating to consumer goods or services contact Trading Standards.
9-13 Central Market,
Tel: 01534 448160