Making a complaint in person is a common way of addressing a problem and getting it resolved quite quickly. Unfortunately, a lot of people aren’t extremely effective at bringing complaints. Certainly, there are individuals who can find the right words on instinct and receive refunds, apologies, or other desired results. Most often we do nothing about bad services and products or just shout in frustration back. But it seems much better to find out how to complain in person effectively.

How to complain in person effectively

  1. Be Prepared
  2. Find Out Your Civil Rights and Stand Your Ground
  3. Know What You Want to Get
  4. Find the Right Person to Speak To
  5. Keep Notes
  6. Find the Right Words
  7. Discuss the Situation with the Third Party
  8. Be Patient
  9. Find a Convenient Time
  10. Be Polite
  11. Be willing to discuss the possible alternatives

Hopefully, the guidelines below will help you to be ready for face to face meetings.

Be Prepared

Although the idea of complaining in person might seem to be the spontaneous problem resolution, plan out the attack carefully before contacting a company staff representative. You should clearly understand what you are dissatisfied with and what you want to achieve. It is also useful to provide some details or images to support the claim. It could be, for example, receipts, photos of the products, or contacts of all involved parties.

Find Out Your Civil Rights and Stand Your Ground

A well-prepared complainer should look through consumer rights before bringing a complaint. Most countries including the United States have appropriate workable legislation to protect rights and freedoms of customers. And a lot of companies stick strictly to these laws trying to retain customer loyalty and do business within the framework of the law. So, if you are not sure of effective consumer rights, check governments’ information web resource. Your claim will be taken more seriously, provided that you refer to such legal rights.

Tips on how to complain in person

Know What You Want to Get

The most effective complainers are those who remain clear about what they want to achieve. They show a full understanding of what outcome they are looking for. Are you seeking a full or partial refund? Do you want to get a product or service replaced? Are you looking for the compensation in the form of additional money? Can you suggest a suitable compromise? Each consumer is different and wants a different outcome depending upon a particular situation. Say, what results you expect. Then a company staff representative responsible for resolving customer complaints could provide you the required assistance. If you still don’t get the response you look for, say so. But do not complain in person for the sake of complaining. Look at the example below:

Complain in person example

Find the Right Person to Speak To

It is very important to make a face to face complaint to a person who has the relevant authority to settle the problem. There is no sense to talk to a company staff representative who is unfamiliar with customer complaints procedure. Do remember that complaining is a very difficult and mentally draining process. If you start repeating the ins and outs of your problem to people with no power or experience in dealing with difficult customers, you will just waste your time. Find the best person to talk to. Ask a senior looking member of staff who can be of any assistance to you. Keep brief and to the point. As an alternative you can Google the company customer care department to find the required information. A face to face complaint must be heard by the person whom it is aimed at.

Keep Notes

If you decide to complain in person, take a friend along as a witness (if appropriate). You might come across customer service representatives who don’t pay (or pay little) attention to customer dissatisfaction. They can promise to settle all issues as soon as possible and do nothing. In this situation some extra proofs will be very useful.

Find the Right Words

If you are to succeed in your face to face complaint, think on how to present it. Each dissatisfied customer should give a broad hint that they could ruin the reputation of the company a bit. Today this task is quite simple with social media. Sharing your experience with friends and acquaintances via social media can destroy company’s reputation in some way. But it is unwise to make threats that you cannot carry out. Look at the example below:

Face to Face Complain

Discuss the Situation with the Third Party

If you are unsure of your complaint, you can discuss the situation with your friends and acquaintances. It will be useful since you can receive significant insights and the critical opinions of the third parties. You will certainly clarify the situation for yourself.

Be Patient

You should understand that a complaint handling procedure can be time-consuming. Do not demand the immediate result. Most companies have some time limits to make a product replacement or issue a refund. Of course, it is not necessary to leave it too long, since there may be a deadline to make a complaint.

Find a Convenient Time

It is better to bring a complaint as soon as the problem arises. The first response sounds quite logical. But there are situations when such scenario is not proper. For example, you bought a blender in the store, but it isn’t working. You shouldn’t run to the store 5 minutes before its closing hours. It is much better to wait for the next business day and explain the problem in a friendly manner. The firmer you are, the more likely you get a desired outcome.

Be Polite

At all times remain polite and confident. We understand that you can be in a state of emotional breakdown, but do your best to calm down and behave yourself as appropriate. We do not recommend being a pushover. Not, of course not. If you remain courteous, you will more likely get what you want. A favorable resolution is more obvious if complainers stay calm, considerate, and fixed on the issues and required outcomes.

And the Last but not the Least

Be willing to discuss the possible alternatives. Sometimes the company can’t meet your requirements in full. So, it is better to reach a mutually beneficial compromise than to insist on a perfect outcome that may never happen. A good example of customer complaint is when it is sorted out on the spot. But if it is going nowhere, find out what you should do next. Actually, it’s up to you whether to stop or to continue. Just remember that persistence can overcome almost any challenge.

Legal disclaimers:

1. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide any legal, medical, accounting, investment or any other professional advice as individual cases may vary and should be discussed with a corresponding expert and/or an attorney.

2. All or some image copyright belongs to the original owner(s). No copyright infringement intended.

See Also