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How to Complain for Compensation

Updated on March 28, 2018

Know Your Rights

Consumers are more aware than ever of their rights, and so most people now know that if something you have paid for isn't as it should be, you have every right to complain. But there are certain circumstances where you should be able to complain and you really should be compensated in some way. Knowing how to do this is tricky, it's taken me a while to get right, but there are ways you can "complain and gain"

Pick Your Battles

Don't complain about every tiny little thing that goes wrong, don't be that person, nobody likes that person. Some things go wrong and they're nobody's fault and you just have to deal with it, don't try to create a problem where there really isn't one. Save your energy for the real problems.

Example: I remember visiting somewhere once that had some serious plumbing problems due to a flood, so their toilets were closed. They had provided loads of portable toilets throughout the venue as an alternative. But a woman there was actually complaining to a member of staff and telling them she was going to claim for compensation because she had to use a portable toilet. Get over yourself, I'm sure more important people than you have had to use a portable loo once in a while love!

Be Polite

You know that old expression, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar (I don't know why you would want more flies, but whatever) Well it is true, a little courtesy will go a long way when trying to complain to gain. Think about the person you are complaining to, would you want to help someone who was being rude and obnoxious? No, you would make them wait as long as possible and give them the runaround. Don't shout, NEVER swear and don't place blame on whoever you are talking to unless you actually know it's their fault, because 9 times out of 10, the person you are talking to won't be the person who messed up.

Example: My wife and I visited a hotel recently where on arrival we were given a greeting card that said "Mr. And Mrs." We had previously explained to the receptionist that we were "Mrs. And Mrs." When we got emails from them. So we politely asked to see the manager and told him what happened, he apologized several times and we got a beautiful bottle of wine from behind the bar and comped all extras for the remainder of the stay, we didn't find that out until we left.

Be Clear

You need to have a good reason for complaining, so be clear about what it is, explain yourself to whoever you are speaking to and if you need to, write things down, there is nothing more annoying than when you hang up and realize that you forgot something. If you don't think they are paying attention to you,ask them to summarize the problem for you, if they can't do it then you need to speak to someone else.

Be Firm

Sometimes, the person you are talking to might see what you are complaining about as a problem, if they don't you need to try to stress to them the importance of the situation, and if they still don't see it, you need to escalate the complaint over their head. You're not being unpleasant, and you're not doing anything out of order, but if you have a genuine complaint then it should be taken seriously.

Example: When I moved house, my bank didn't update my details and statements were still being sent to my old address, I called and the first person I spoke to didn't see it as a problem and said she would just update my address. The second person I spoke to apologized and told me it was a definite breach of their security measures and compensated me with £150 (which I didn't have to ask for)

There Are Rules You Should Stick To

The rules to complaining are simple, be polite, be firm and don't complain just for the sake of it.


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