Complaints… we all have them. Take just a moment and think back to the last time you approached a business about a bad experience: were you satisfied at the resolution? If not, hopefully this blog post will help you the next time you discover a bug doing the breaststroke in your bowl of soup.
The first step of any complaint process is to start with the source. Contact the person closest to the problem (such as the server) and explain your issue. Be polite, firm and unthreatening and give the business a fair chance at fixing the problem.
The next step is to escalate the problem. Ask to speak to a manager (or research to see if the company has a complaints number you can try calling). Again, clearly state your problem and let the business know what you think a successful resolution would look like. Be reasonable and state a timeframe in which you expect a response.
Still not getting anywhere? Step three offers a few options. Follow up with a written complaint (or do this in tandem with step two). A letter or email can seem more formal and can provide proof of your complaint. You may want to consider copying the letter to other appropriate people within the company.
One last point… Consider taking the same time and effort to let a company know when they have provided you with a good service or product – they will appreciate it!
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If you are a big government business, it is just foolishness to even try. example BC Hydro. They are nothing but big business
Hi Ron, actually if you have a complaint about BC Hydro or any other provincial government ministry or public agency, you can go to the BC Ombudsperson. To find out more about them, visit their website at http://www.ombudsman.bc.ca/.
This is harder to do when you are dealing with a small business. I had a problem with a nail spa overcharging me for service ($5 more than what their printed in-store price list stated as well as their website). I had a Groupon and they were charging me twice the amount for an additional service I wanted and their justification was that (a) I had a groupon therefore they were charging me more, and (b) their in-store price list and website were not up to date (2 different excuses). The manager was not helpful at all and when asked to direct me to the owner, she refused to.
Completed steps 1-3 in a cordial manner. The manager refused to meet with my partner, of whom was making the complaint. After 2 days, being polite, courteous, respectful and accomodating, along with completing the steps of the stores customer service advice, the issue was still not resolved. Again with kindness, being polite and listening, due to the employees frustration, my partner was then subjected to be called an idiot and told they didnt want to deal with him or the issue anymore in front of many other employees and customers. When asked to speak to the manager, the manager refused. My husband was refunded his money (of which the following day was refused to be refunded); told that the issue was his fault and told that they didnt want “people like him” in the store. “People like him” was them profiling him to be some would consider an “undesirable” member of the community such as a homeless person or drug addict of which he is neither on the account that he has tattoos and scruffy stuble on his face, riding a bike. That shouldnt matter even if he was either or. He was not inappropriate, rude or unreasonable as the customer service staff were to him. What recourse is there for him in regards to the nature of dissatisfaction and disrespect along with very unprofessional, quite frankly mean spirited, customer service of a large chain grocer? What are is he seeking in the end? We havent finished “the list” but accountability first off; a stern repromant – possible loss of job to the staff that were involved, further customer service and perhaps anger management training for the staff, a written and verbal apology, possible monetary damages only for the sake of to show the seriousness of the lack of dignified treatment towards a respectful (human being) customer all inclusive of personally achieving the satisfaction with showing that in reality and in contrary of what he was profiled, viewed as and called of that he is NOT an idiot and the issue was NOT created by him as was told and for the sake of equality as a human being not knowing who he is either personally or professionaly; for them to publicly make statements such as stated above with blatent, incorrect judgement for all around to witness must be addresses and not just “go away” as he was disrespectfully told to do. Quite possibliy, our outcome expectations as stated above may be unreasonable to some. We can agree to disagree on that respectfully. There were several factors outlining the behaviors of the customer service staff that should not be silence in the name of the basics of human rights and dignity for each and every person. We are assured that this has not been the first incident towards members of our community whom were customers such as the stated “people like him”. Those voices of profiled “people like him” are usually unheard due to thier proceived societal class. Your advise, direction and (your time to assist us) in where or how to take this information of less than quality customer service and complaint would be of great appreciation.
Hi Tammie, thanks for taking the time to explain the situation. That sounds like a very unpleasant experience and I’m sorry you and your partner went through that. While we are responsible for regulating seven industries and oversee specific consumer protection laws in the province, we have no legal authority when it comes to quality of service issues, which it sounds like this may be.
While your issue doesn’t fall under the laws we have authority over, I am more than happy to provide you with some information and offer a referral to several agencies/organizations that are better suited to assist you.
We have also written a blog post about some options in these situations. It goes over several steps and options for recourse (CRT, affordable lawyer service, access to the Sale of Goods Act, etc.). Here is a link to it if you’re interested: What is a “quality of service” issue and what can you do about it?.
If you feel as though your partner was discriminated against and you believe this to be a human rights issue, you can contact the BC Human Rights Tribunal. The BC Human Rights Tribunal is an independent, quasi-judicial body created by the B.C. Human Rights Code. The Tribunal is responsible for accepting, screening, mediating, and adjudicating human rights complaints. Here is some more information about human rights in services, facilities or accommodations. And here is a link to their complaint process. While I am not in a position to determine if this is something that would classify as a human rights issue under their definitions, they may be able to point you in the right direction.
I hope this is helpful and best of luck.
Hi I have a ticket from Diamond parking in wich business were not open I frequent this parking lot often I was well within my right . Apparently some store don’t open until 10 or 11 and some not open at all I arrived at 9:15 am to find a ticket on my dash at 9:30 am . Since the stores were not open I walked around the corner to get a coffee ? This lot is not a paid lot or meter ? It says on the ticket 80 fine -160 in 10 days ? Even a legal city hall meter does not require you to plug the meter while not in buissness operational hours . I called promptly but got a confrontational clerk demanding I pay ? I think this is illegal ? I did not patronize or wait for stores to open at that point ? Who would ?
Hi Christine, thanks for reaching out to us here about your issue with the parking ticket. Parking tickets is not an area that our organization oversees, so I can’t say for sure what’s allowed and what’s not. I would suggest checking out their website and finding out how you can dispute a ticket in order to learn about what that process looks like. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Best of luck!