5 Steps to Making a Complaint

May 1, 2015

It’s important to know what your consumer rights are and what you can do if you have a problem with a product or service. Whether you bought a  faulty product, one which did not fit the description given or a service that did not meet the terms of the contract, we have five steps to help you put things right and get what you paid for.

1)      Always keep in mind that it’s important to:

  • Know your rights and the options that are open to you. Remember, your rights are still the same if you bought the item in a sale.
  • Stand up for your rights – be calm , assertive and confident that you know what your rights are
  • Keep notes and documentation to support your complaint

2)      Act quickly:

The quicker you act, the better your chances of getting the outcome you want. Watch out for time limits on making certain types of complaints, for example, a complaint about a package holiday. You may find that you need to complain within 28 days of returning from your holiday.

3)      Know who to complain to:

Contact the person you originally dealt with first or the company’s customer care department if it has one. Make sure that, as soon as possible, you contact someone who has the authority to progress your complaint.

4)      Make a formal complaint:

If you complain face-to-face or over the phone you may get a quick solution to your problem. If you don’t, keep track of conversations you had, including dates, names and what was discussed. If a shop who sold you a faulty good suggests you send it back to the manufacturer tell them that under consumer law it’s up to them to deal with your problem. If your problem continues and you’re getting nowhere make a formal complaint either by email or letter. Check out our complaint template letters to get an idea of what to include in your letter and what to keep in mind when writing your complaint.

5)      Progress the complaint further:

If you are not happy with the response you get, you may want to take your complaint further. If you paid for the goods by credit or debit card, check with your card provider to see if they can reverse the transaction. This is called a chargeback. If your complaint involves an amount up to €2,000, you may be able to use the Small Claims process. There is a fee of €25 for this service.

For more details on making a complaint go to our page on how to complain

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