How to complain - CCPC Consumers (2022)

  • Step 1: Know your rights
  • Step 2: Act quickly
  • Step 3: Know who to contact
  • Step 4: Making the initial complaint
  • Step 5: Making a more formal complaint
  • Step 6: If you are still getting nowhere

Step 1: Know your rights

Before going to make a complaint, you should know what your consumer rights are under the law. We have lots of information in ouryour rightssection. You can also call our helpline on (01) 402 5555 or Lo-Call 1890 432 432 or if you have a question about your rights.


  • If you bought something in a shop, you have no rights under consumer law if the product is not faulty or you simply changed your mind. Some shops may accept returns and give you a refund, exchange or credit note within a certain time period. This is a good will gesture on the part of the shop, but is not a legal requirement. However if you bought something online or off-premises (e.g. from a door-to-door seller or over the phone), you can change your mind within 14 days of receiving the goods, with certain exclusions.
  • A shop is entitled to proof of purchase, but this doesn’t have to be the shop receipt. For example, you could show proof of purchase with a credit card statement
  • If you accept a repair from the business concerned, this repair must be permanent

There is no redress (remedy) for:

  • Faults that are due to misuse of the goods
  • Faults that are pointed out at the time of purchase
  • Superficial faults that should have been seen on reasonable examination of the goods

It is a good idea to check the goods when you are buying them to make sure there are no faults.

If you have a written contract or description of the goods or services you have bought, read it carefully. Your complaint will be more effective if you are familiar with the terms and conditions of your contract.
And remember, your statutory rights don’t change just because youbought something in a sale.

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Why are you complaining?

For example:

  • Was the product faulty?
  • Did it not fit the description given?
  • Was the service not carried out with proper care/not meet the terms of the contract?
  • Was it the way you were treated as a customer?

Know exactly what you want the business to do to sort out the problem.

Step 2: Act quickly

Don’t delay in making your complaint. For example, if you use the goods for some time, you may only be entitled to a repair or to a partial refund.
There may also be a time limit on making certain types of complaints. For example, complaints about a package holiday must be made within 28 days of returning from the holiday.

Step 3: Know who to contact

Make sure you direct your complaint to the correct person.
Start by contacting the person in the company you originally dealt with, or the company’s customer care department if it has one. A good business will have its own proper internal complaints procedures, and complaints are often resolved using these.

Ask to speak to a manager. There is no point in complaining to a person who may have no authority to put things right.

Give the company the opportunity to sort the issue. This may solve your problem more quickly and will stand to you if you need to take legal action.

(Video) My consumer rights - Resolving issues and lodging complaints

Step 4: Making the initial complaint

Before making a complaint, think about what your best approach could be.

You may find it more effective to make your complaint face-to-face or over the phone, rather than in a formal letter or email.

You may also think about complaining through social media, e.g. through Facebook or Twitter. Before deciding to make a complaint on social media it could be useful to spend a few minutes taking a look at other consumers’ experiences when making a complaint against a business in this way.

Be careful when sharing personal details, such as account information. Depending on the complaint, you may need to provide these details for your issue to be addressed. As social media channels, such as Twitter, limit the amount of information you can provide, you may end up contacting the business many times, instead of just once if you complain by letter, email or over the phone.

Always keep notes of what happened, in the sequence that it happened. Include dates of phone calls or other conversations, who you spoke to and what was said.

When making your complaint, remember to:

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  • Be polite but firm. You may feel angry, but an effective complaint is based on presenting yourself as a reasonable person rather than an unreasonable one
  • Explain your problem, keep to the facts and know your rights
  • Tell them what you want them to do to resolve your complaint. Focus on the action you want the supplier to take rather than on your anger or disappointment

For example, make it clear that you are looking for a replacement, a repair, a refund, completion of an unfinished service, or simply an apology.

Remember that while these are all options, the law does not specify who chooses the form of redress. Therefore it is up to you to negotiate this with the supplier.

In the case of a product, a business may suggest you send it back to the manufacturer. But if the business has sold you faulty goods, under consumer law it’s up to them to deal with your problem.

You should make it clear to the business that even if you go to the manufacturer, you will go back to them if you have further problems. Alternatively you can insist that the business deals with the manufacturer directly on your behalf.
Many problems can be sorted out quickly and simply at the counter or over the phone. But if you are still not satisfied with their response, you may need to make a more formal complaint.

Step 5: Making a more formal complaint

If your problem has gone on for some time and you are still getting nowhere, you should make a more formal complaint in writing, either ina letter or by email. You can use oursample complaint lettersto help you put your complaint in writing.

Hold on to all information about your complaint, including copies of letters, emails, photographs, invoices, receipts, cheque stubs, quotations or contracts.

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Always make sure your letter, or email,is sent to the right person or department, so ask for the name and address of their most senior appropriate person you can contact.

When writing your complaint, keep the following in mind:

  • If possible, typethe letter, or write it clearly and neatly
  • Try to keep the messageshort, clear and to the point
  • Clearly set out the history of your case: the date of purchase and area of concern, who you spoke to, what the problem is
  • Give a clear description of the goods/service so the business can easily identify it: give the serial numbers, batch codes and any other descriptions
  • State your rights under legislation
  • Say what you want them to do to resolve your complaint
  • Give them a reasonable length of time to resolve the problem before considering other options
  • Attach copies of any relevant documentation (keep the originals yourself)
  • We strongly recommend you send your letter by registered post, or attach a read receipt to your emailso that you will have a record of delivery

Step 6: If you are still getting nowhere

Most complaints are settled without needing to take legal action. But if you are still not satisfied after making your complaint, you may want to take it further. If your complaint involves an amount up to €2,000, you may be able to take your case to court yourself through theSmall Claims procedure, which is designed to be simple and relatively quick.
For bigger amounts or for personal injury and certain other claims, you may need to contact a solicitor.

Some services are covered by the ombudsman or regulators, such as theFinancial Services andPensions Ombudsmanor theTaxi Regulator. Generally, you can’t engage an ombudsman until you’ve first exhausted the complaints procedure for that sector.

If you are not sure which regulator, authority or ombudsman is the relevant one, contact your localCitizens Information Centre, which can give you advice on who to contact.

Complaint letter templates

  • Download theMS Wordversion of the faulty goods letter
  • Notes to consumeron complaint letter about faulty goods
  • Download theMS Wordversion of the poor service letter
  • Notes to consumeron complaint letter about poor service

Last updated on 17 November 2022

(Video) Who is The Consumer Council (Northern Ireland) and how to contact them


How do I complain to the Competition and Markets Authority? ›

email: call: 020 3738 6888.

What are the 4 steps in the consumer complaint process? ›

gov's sample complaint letter to explain your problem.
  1. Send your complaint to a salesperson or customer service representative. Search for a company's customer service contact information on their website. ...
  2. Take your complaint to a company's management if a salesperson didn't help.

What are 3 typical consumer complaints? ›

10 common customer complaints
  • Product is out of stock. ...
  • Broken/defective product. ...
  • Product doesn't meet expectations. ...
  • Preferred payment not accepted. ...
  • Long hold times. ...
  • Disinterested customer service. ...
  • Having to restate the issue. ...
  • Issue not resolved on first call.
5 May 2022

What are the 4 types of complaints? ›

When customers are dissatisfied with the service you're providing, they will be one of four kinds of complainers: aggressive, expressive, passive or constructive.

What to do if a customer is disrespectful? ›

Ways to deal with rude customers
  1. Be empathetic. The simplest way to handle rude customers involves using empathy. ...
  2. Listen actively. ...
  3. Chunk the issue. ...
  4. Repeat what the customer has said back to them. ...
  5. Stay calm and stoic. ...
  6. Offer solutions. ...
  7. Offer a sincere apology. ...
  8. Set a time to follow up with the customer if necessary.

Where can I complain against a trading company? ›

Investor Complaints Cell
  • Complaint Registration.
  • Send Reminder.
  • View Complaint Status.
  • Toll Free Helpline: 1800 266 7575.

How do I report a business to trading standards anonymously? ›

Making a complaint to Trading Standards

This government funded consumer advice service provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer problems with goods, services, energy and post. Call Citizens Advice on freephone 0808 223 1133 or visit their website where you can register a complaint online.

How do I complain about unfair trading practices? ›

If you think a business has broken the law or acted unfairly, you can report them to Trading Standards.
If a business isn't helping you fix something that went wrong, you could:
  1. try making a formal complaint.
  2. get help from a dispute resolution scheme.
  3. take them to court.

Who should you first contact with a consumer complaint? ›

You can submit a complaint with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which will forward your complaint to the company. The company must respond to you and the Bureau within 15 days. You will also be able to check the status of your complaint. If you don't want to submit a complaint, you can tell your story.

What are the 5 categories of complaints? ›

5 of the Most Common Types of Customer Complaints, and How to Handle Them
  • The Meek Customer.
  • The Aggressive Customer.
  • The High Roller Customer.
  • The Rip-Off Customer.
  • The Chronic Complainer Customer.
27 Oct 2016

What are the five types of complaints? ›

7 types of complaints
  • Product or service. A customer may make a complaint if they have problems with a company's product or service. ...
  • Wait time. ...
  • Delivery. ...
  • Personnel. ...
  • Online. ...
  • Continual. ...
  • Communication.
29 Sept 2021

What is the most common consumer complaint? ›

What Are Some Common Consumer Complaints?
  • Credit Cards. ...
  • Mobile Phone Services and Telecommunications. ...
  • Scams Involving Fake Cheques and Foreign Currency. ...
  • Internet-Based Bidding. ...
  • Frauds Using Imposters. ...
  • Sales via Catalogues and Home Shopping. ...
  • Sweepstakes, Lotteries, and Awards.
15 Nov 2022

What are the seven 7 customer complaint procedure principles? ›

  • Getting it right.
  • Being customer focused.
  • Being open and accountable.
  • Acting fairly and proportionately.
  • Putting things right.
  • Seeking continuous improvement.

What are grounds for complaint? ›

Six Reasons Why You Should File Consumer Complaints
  • The basic rights which every consumer possess and are statutorily provided by the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 are – ...
  • Unfair trade practices. ...
  • Food adulteration. ...
  • Short weights and measures. ...
  • Misleading information. ...
  • Not keeping promises. ...
  • Poor customer service.
26 Nov 2018

What are the top ten consumer complaints? ›

The Top Ten complaint categories made to agencies in 2021 are:
  • Auto Sales & Repair.
  • Landlord Tenant.
  • Home Improvement Repairs and Contractors.
  • Retail Purchase Issues.
  • Consumer Debt & Credit.
  • Frauds and Scams.
  • Utilities.
  • (TIE) Healthcare/Wellness & Robocalls/Telemarketing.
8 Aug 2022

What are the 2 types of customer complaints? ›

3 most common types of customer complaints
  • Inferior product or service. Not surprisingly, dissatisfaction with a product or service is a common cause of customer complaints. ...
  • Delivery issues. ...
  • Indifferent customer service.
18 May 2022

Can you kick a customer out for being rude? ›

While you have the right to refuse service to rude customers, ask yourself if there's a way to make that person a loyal customer instead of kicking them out. While you may not have a choice in some cases, building bridges could help you create a lasting customer relationship.

Can I refuse a customer for being rude? ›

The answer is yes, it is legal. Businesses do have a constitutional right to refuse service to anyone, especially if they are making a scene or disrupting service to other customers in their business.

What should you not say to customers? ›

12 Things You Should Never Say to Your Customers
  • "That's against our policy." Maybe it is, but customers aren't interested in your policy. ...
  • "Let me try to do that..." ...
  • "I'll get back to you as soon as I can." ...
  • "What you should do is..." ...
  • "Are you sure?" ...
  • "I'm not sure, but I think..." ...
  • "That's not so bad..." ...
  • "Listen to me..."

Where do I report unfair customer service? ›

Any consumer may lodge a consumer complaint with the Gauteng Office of Consumer Affairs (GOCA).

What is a trading violation? ›

Stock settlement violations occur when new trades to buy are not properly covered by settled funds. Although settlement violations generally occur in cash accounts, they can also occur in margin accounts, particularly when trading non-marginable securities.

Can I report anonymously to Trading Standards? ›

You can report consumer crime anonymously via the London Trading Standards website.

What are the 8 basic rights of the consumers? ›

  • Consumer's rights to enforce terms about goods.
  • Right to reject.
  • Partial rejection of goods.
  • Time limit for short-term right to reject.
  • Right to repair or replacement.
  • Right to price reduction or final right to reject.

What complaints do Trading Standards deal with? ›

Compliance notices are available under a range of laws, including food standards, animal health, product safety, weights and measures, and fair trading.

Is there a consumer ombudsman? ›

The official body that provides free and independent advice about your consumer rights at any point during your complaint. Contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 040506 or visit the website.

What are examples of unfair trade practices? ›

Some examples of unfair trade methods are: the false representation of a good or service; false free gift or prize offers; non-compliance with manufacturing standards; false advertising; or deceptive pricing.

What is considered as unfair trade? ›

Unfair trading includes a trader making misleading statements, leaving out important information about a product or behaving aggressively.

What happens when a trade is unfair? ›

2) unfair trading practices can result in undue costs or lower-than-expected revenues for the trading partner in the weaker bargaining position. 3) Unpredictable changes of contract terms may lead to overproduction and result in unnecessary food waste.

What must you never do when dealing with a complaint? ›

Making promises or giving false expectations of what it will take to address the complaint, or when it will be addressed. Failing to follow up with the customer, ignoring or dismissing the complaint, or acting as if it isn't worthy of addressing.

What is the first step of filing a consumer complaint? ›

Step 1: Legal Notice

Prior to filing a formal complaint in court, the first step in any type of consumer conflict is to send a legal notice to the accused party.

What is the first step for filing a complaint? ›

The first step is to file a complaint with the district magistrate. This will allow the authorities to take further action, should they feel it is necessary. The process is straightforward and can be done online. The district magistrate will require some documents from you, such as your passport and proof of residence.

What are the three ways of complaining? ›

An effective complaint often has three steps: explaining the problem; stating your feelings; and asking for action. The first step is to explain the problem. To do it effectively, you must use polite, respectful language.

How do you write a strongly worded letter of complaint? ›

How to write an effective complaint letter
  1. Be clear and concise. ...
  2. State exactly what you want done and how long you're willing to wait for a response. ...
  3. Don't write an angry, sarcastic, or threatening letter. ...
  4. Include copies of relevant documents, like receipts, work orders, and warranties.
4 Sept 2015

What are valid complaints? ›

valid complaint means a complaint that describes the location and general nature of a potential bylaw contravention, which includes the complainant's name, address, and relevant contact information, and which is not a vexatious complaint.

Who should handle customer complaints? ›

Each complaint should ideally be handled by one staff member. Therefore, you should always ensure that the person assigned to the case has the authority to deal with the situation.

How do you make a strong complaint? ›

Complaining by Telephone
  1. have all of the information that you need to hand.
  2. speak to the person in charge; the manager or owner wherever possible.
  3. explain what the problem is calmly and firmly.
  4. make notes of the date, time and who you speak to or ask for a transcript or email.
8 Dec 2021

Do customers have the right to complain? ›

As a consumer, you have the right to complain.

What are 5 tips for dealing with customer complaints? ›

A 5-step process for handling customer complaints
  • Step 1: Dig deeper by asking the right questions. ...
  • Step 2: Identify the type of customer you're dealing with. ...
  • Step 3: Respond to the customer quickly. ...
  • Step 4: Present a solution, and verify that the problem is solved. ...
  • Step 5: Log the complaint so you can track trends.
2 Jun 2022

What is the best way to communicate a complaint? ›

Handling Customer Complaints
  1. Actively listen and makes notes. ...
  2. Acknowledge the customer's concerns and thank them. ...
  3. Apologise for the impact or the inconvenience caused. ...
  4. Ask questions and summarise your understanding. ...
  5. Agree and explain the actions you will take as a result of their complaint. ...
  6. Ask for feedback on the next steps.

What are the 4 steps to resolve a customer complaint or issue? ›

Use this four-step system to deliver excellent customer service:
  1. Listen. Let the customer voice their complaint without interruption. ...
  2. Acknowledge. Say you understand and are sorry for the situation. ...
  3. Solve. Offer the dissatisfied customer real solutions, telling them what you CAN do for them. ...
  4. Thank.

What is the last formula of customer complaint? ›

I will explain the Listen, Apologize, Solve, and Thank (L.A.S.T) method, which will help your performance at any customer service job.

What is the fastest way to resolve customer complaints? ›

Complaints handling procedure
  1. Listen to the complaint. Thank the customer for bringing the matter to your attention. ...
  2. Record details of the complaint. ...
  3. Get all the facts. ...
  4. Discuss options for fixing the problem. ...
  5. Act quickly. ...
  6. Keep your promises. ...
  7. Follow up.

What are golden rules of handling customer's complaints? ›

The 5 Golden Rules of Customer Complaint Handling
  • Never Minimize the Issue. A customer or client who is unhappy for one reason or another should never be made to feel like they're overreacting. ...
  • Empathize. ...
  • Remember: Everyone Makes Mistakes. ...
  • Come up with a Resolution. ...
  • Resolve the Issue Quickly.
24 May 2019

What are the four most common types of customer complaints? ›

Below are a few common customer complaints you can expect your service team to encounter.
  • Making Customers Repeat Their Problem. ...
  • Uninterested Service Rep. ...
  • Poor Product or Service. ...
  • No First Call Resolution. ...
  • Lack of Follow Up. ...
  • New Product or Feature Request. ...
  • Determine the root causes of the problem.
10 Oct 2022

Which is the best way to complain? ›

How to complain effectively – and get results
  1. Put it in writing.
  2. Be reasonable.
  3. Know your consumer law.
  4. Go to the right place.
  5. Give a deadline.
  6. Say what you want.
  7. Take the matter further.
21 Mar 2022

How do you start off a complaint? ›

In essence, they are business letters so you should begin with your address and the date. The name and title of the contact person should come next if you can locate them, otherwise begin with the name of the company and its street address. Finally, after your salutation, you can begin the body of your letter.

How do I make a complaint without winning? ›

With this background in mind, here are the six tips that can help your complaining lead to positive action and preserve a non-whining reputation:
  1. Use humor judiciously. ...
  2. Avoid a nasal tone of voice. ...
  3. Reserve your complaints for valid, legitimate purposes. ...
  4. Try to point out something favorable to balance the complaint.
4 Jul 2015

Is there an ombudsman for consumers? ›

We're approved to review complaints across a range of sectors including energy and communications. We can also handle matters regarding non-regulated sectors such as parking on private land appeals (POPLA).

What complaints can be filed under consumer protection? ›

A consumer complaint in State Forum can be filed if the value of goods or services exceeds Rs 1 Crore but less than Rs 10 Crore. One can also file an appeal in the State Commission against the order of the District Forum within a period of 45 days from the date of order.


1. The Digital Transformation: Addressing Consumer Vulnerability
2. My consumer rights - Contracts
(Consumer Protection WA)
3. Consumer Protection on Online Shopping
(VDO Consumer Protection)
4. New Consumer Protection Act 2019, Empowers Consumers | All you Need to Know
(Untemo Media)
5. The CAI
6. Dangers of consumer's rights in the internet
(Kurybiniu inovaciju sprendimai)

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