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Complaint handling Tag

The person sitting across from you in the restaurant is funny and interesting. Awkward get-to-know-you questions are out of the way and you’re already bonding over mutual likes and dislikes. There’s even been a few laughs. This first date is going rather well.

Then your meal arrives. You’ve barely taken a bite and notice something isn’t quite right. Perhaps the vegetables are too cold, the meat is undercooked, or something you ordered is missing.

Maybe it’s not the food that’s niggling at the back of your mind. The music might be too loud for conversation and you’re pondering whether to ask the manager to turn it down or not. Or perhaps you’ve been waiting way too long for your drinks or entrée?

It’s been another busy year for the team at Handle My Complaint. Since launching our new online system in February, we have handled almost 2,400 complaints for Australians across a range of industries.

From vehicles to travel, home renovation to insurance complaints, if there’s a customer who feels hard done by, we’ve assisted them to get the outcome they deserve. As the year draws to a close, we take a look at some of the situations we’ve helped resolve and share some of the lovely feedback we’ve received from our clients.

Have you heard of The 12 Pains of Christmas? Released in the mid-1980s, the song is a parody of the popular carol, The 12 Days of Christmas, where instead of touting the pleasure of receiving various gifts, the singer bemoans the less than sunshiny parts of the festive season.

But even if Bob Rivers sounds a bit like the Grinch who stole Christmas, we all know he has a point. For all the family get-togethers, presents and general bonhomie, there is plenty to complain about this time of year (and we don’t just mean the price of cherries).

Yvonne Arnall didn’t expect any special treatment. Like most of us, she simply expected to be treated with respect and have her issue resolved in a timely manner.

Instead, what the Melbourne grandmother got was an abject failure in customer service that dragged on for almost six months. A saga that involved her driving hundreds of kilometres on multiple occasions for appointments that never eventuated. And when her initial request was finally resolved — on the eighth appointment — it came with an added insult: a pool of urine.

No one likes a whinger, but we all have legitimate complaints from time to time. So what’s the right way to complain?

Before you pick up that phone or send that email, ask yourself how invested you are in making the complaint? Is the $50 watch that isn’t working properly worth spending indefinite hours trying to get your money back? The trade-off between your effort to complain and how much you value the item is what we call the complaining value.

Still want to complain? Here are some do’s and don’ts to ensure a better chance of getting a resolution.

It’s a weekend ritual for thousands of Australians around the country. Heading down to their local hardware store to buy anything from garden tools to a whole new kitchen.

Those home reno stores lure you in with a sausage sizzle out the front and the in-store experts out the back. Once you leave you have a satisfied belly and enough confidence to tackle everything from minor repairs to a full-on renovation.