Everyone has complaints. Whether it be with the quality of service you received or dissatisfaction with a business’s policy, there are ways to express your concerns to maximize success. If you have an issue with a particular business, here are some tips on how to make an effective complaint.

The first step

Try to resolve the problem with the business first. If the business has complaints or customer service department, try going there to voice your concerns. Explain why you are not satisfied and give the business a chance to fix the problem. Be polite and firm, but not threatening.

If the problem persists

If the problem is not resolved, try writing a letter to the business’s manager or a supervisor. Clearly state your complaint and explain what you feel a fair resolution would be. Sometimes using a timeline is a great way to outline your complaint. Make sure you include a timeframe as to when you expect a reply. Be reasonable.

Remember, it is important to keep all receipts, contracts, written letters and responses. This may help if you need to escalate the matter to a lawyer or to small claims court. Also, be proactive. Contact the business once you become dissatisfied so that you resolve the situation in a timely manner. Many businesses have policies that are time sensitive.


What is a “quality of service” issue and what can you do about it?
Resolving small claims strata disputes online: what to expect from the CRT
How to write a letter to your MLA