herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Don't be shy when it comes to complaining

Generic complainer
Generic complainer

I'm a great one for complaining, as you know. Not just in a moany way, but I genuinely believe most companies prefer to hear when they mess up on something, rather than have you tell everyone you meet about bad service or products.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has issued research showing that a whopping 44pc of us experienced a problem with goods or services in the last year.

Most of these were related to internet and telecommunications issues, financial services products or electrical goods, which won't surprise anyone.

While an encouraging 67pc took some action by complaining, only 39pc found a full resolution - 46pc didn't, which means either their complaint wasn't valid (and sometimes we do complain about things which aren't a service provider's fault), or they were fobbed off.

When complaining over a faulty item, or a service not provided, you have three remedies in law: a refund, replacement or repair.

However, the store has the first call and may want to give repair a go, especially on electronics. That's fine; if it breaks again, come down the hammers on them.

I have twice used the small claims court successfully (€25, www.courts.ie), once just by threatening it, with full redress.

This means doing the boring bits, and making sure you understand what you signed up to first.

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