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To think that we shouldn't encourage people to write complain letters

(74 Posts)
Laquitar Tue 20-Sep-11 10:37:28

When someone is 'fuming' about a shop assistant, a waitress, a cleaner etc and comes here there are often posters who shout 'write a complain', 'how dare she', 'sack the lazy bitch', 'do it, you will get refound hmm'.

We weren't there and we don't know what happened. Some people 'fume' very easily and some OPs only write half the story. In these days when people fear about their jobs why take pleasure to cause problems in someones life? This 'rude bitch' you want to get sacked might be in some threads here i.e. 'i can't sleep because of our debts', 'how to support my mother who's having chemotherapy', 'i need to hold on my job in order to leave my abusive dh' or 'my manager is on me because i took a day off when my dc was ill last week. Imagine having to deal with the complain letter on top.

But i'm not talking only about women. How would you like it if your dh come home upset after problems with the manager because someone was bored and wrote a complain letter?

And those who shout 'good on you, be assertive', this is not assertiveness, its nastiness imo. After all an assertive person will confront the situation on the spot (if he/she is really right). She won't go home, change the details of the story and write a letter.

mumblechum1 Tue 20-Sep-11 10:39:10


I often think the same thing. Moanyarses, the lot of em!

IrmaMuthafucker Tue 20-Sep-11 10:39:15

Do you mean a letter of complaint?

Shutupanddrive Tue 20-Sep-11 10:40:36

I can see your point, but whatever is going on in my personal life I don't take it out on people in work. I don't think that's an excuse to be rude. Is there any threads in particular or just a general rant?

SpottyWellies Tue 20-Sep-11 10:41:48

Hmmm interesting discussion starter hmm

Can I ask - are there any circumstances when a complaint letter would be appropriate?

<speaking as someone who had someone else sacked last week through a complaint>

Laquitar Tue 20-Sep-11 10:42:54

Yes irma

TotemPole Tue 20-Sep-11 10:44:07

How do you know they change the details before they write the letter?

Presumably, if they do write a letter of complaint the member of staff will be given a chance to give their account of what happened. Then the managers can act accordingly.

fanjobanjowanjo Tue 20-Sep-11 10:44:10

They may have personal problems, but they should leave them at home. It is unprofessional to do anything else - for example, the cashier at the supermarket last night was quite rude to us.

However, I noticed she was quite pregnant, and kept rubbing her bump and sighing, and her till was being closed so she's obviously tired and going home/for a break so I didn't complain as I'm nice like that.

It doesn't mean it was professional of her to behave that way.

Ciske Tue 20-Sep-11 10:44:36

You should complain about poor service, it's the only way the business will understand why you're not coming back and will allow them a chance to put it right.

If there are extenuating circumstances, it's up to that person's line manager/HR to make that judgement. It could also be a wise lesson that if their personnel is under stress due to personal issues, they should support them better and help them cope.

Meteorite Tue 20-Sep-11 10:45:20

YANBU. Shop workers are on the receiving end of a great deal of the general public's frustration, patronising comments and sense of entitlement.

Occasionally a complaint is reasonable but often people just want someone to moan at.

IrmaMuthafucker Tue 20-Sep-11 10:45:25

Ime people don't write letters of complaint for fun. I also don't really care about the service provider's personal life - I care about the service. We all have shit to bear.


kerrymumbles Tue 20-Sep-11 10:45:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

caughtinanet Tue 20-Sep-11 10:47:04

YABU - how will levels of customer service improve if consumers don't complain?

It isn't always possible or appropriate to do it in person at the time and going home and thinking it over can help to defuse the situation and word a complaint constructively.

Whilst personal problems shouldn't be an excuse to give poor customer service in reality that could happen but an otherwise good employee won't be sacked for a one off lapse when stressed.

You, however, are perfectly entitled to suck up anything bad that happens to you without complaint but don't expect everyone else to do so.

Laquitar Tue 20-Sep-11 10:47:23

'Spotty', yes. If you have witnessed it and if the service was really bad/rude (i.e. not because the shop assistant didn't do eye contact for one second).

Why the hmm face?

aldiwhore Tue 20-Sep-11 10:47:52

As an ex employer, complaints were always seen as postive... away to improve, some people complain badly, but a decent manager will use a letter not as proof they require to sack someone, but as a starting point to investigate... people rarely get sacked on the spot on the back on one letter of complaint. I'm sure that's not even legal.

As an ex employee, who's been complained about, its not nice when it happens, but in total honesty I've never been sacked, always been able to give my side and there were, on a few occassions grounds for the complaint.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Sep-11 10:49:26

It depends on the circumstances, of course. Certainly should never be done from boredom or vindictiveness.

Sometimes there are situations which require rectification. Often they are really management problems, so the complaint should be framed in those terms - not getting some hapless employee in trouble, but constructive criticism of whatever part of the system failed. It's surely better to do this coolly after consideration than wading in all guns blazing on the spot.

stripeytiger Tue 20-Sep-11 10:50:07

Personally I don't think we complain enough, it's not always about someone losing their job or getting a bollocking, it's bringing poor service to light and improving that service (hopefully) as a result of feedback.

Having said that I don't think we give praise nearly enough either - works both ways imo.

Back to the letter of complaint - my rule of thumb is if you feel strongly enough, note down the facts, date, nature of complaint etc, wait 24 hours or so, then put it in writing and send if you still feel as annoyed.

IrmaMuthafucker Tue 20-Sep-11 10:50:24

Come on OP and just say what's really bothering you. Have you been pulled up for poor service?

IggyPup Tue 20-Sep-11 10:50:24

If I feel I have had a bad experience in a shop or wherever, I would have no hesitation to write a letter of complaint. I have so far written about 5 or 6. I am 55 so this averages 1 per decade.

However I frequently express my feelings regarding bad service on public forums and have found that it is sufficiently therapeutic to obviate the need for me to vent my fury on any retail business.

Letters of complaint, in my opinion and experience, inform the management of a training requirement amongst their staff and can be a very useful aid to the business.

To paraphrase Flann O'Brien, "in the world of the crippled, the one legged man is king". I have no idea why I just wrote that but it made me feel good to do so.

notcitrus Tue 20-Sep-11 10:51:51

I've encouraged people to write complaint letters, but to focus on complaining about the systems the staff are forced to work to, rather than individual staff (unless the staff were amazingly out of order, which is very rare).

I've even encouraged people to write and complain about my own organisation on the grounds that management might listen to them. But then quite often half my job has been handling such letters and FOI requests, so I like to see the ones that actually have some basis in reality!

DamselInDisarray Tue 20-Sep-11 10:52:24

I agree with everyone whose said that it's unprofessional to be rude to customers in work, and that they should leave their personal problems at home. I wouldn't dream of being rude to my students and, if I were stupid enough to do so, I would expect (a) them to complain about it and (b) for me to be pulled up for it. Similarly, I don't expect them to be rude to me.

In general though people should complain at the time, rather than go home and write a letter of complaint. That's the best way to get things resolved. They should also complain reasonably and politely (as that's the absolute best way to get a good outcome).

aldiwhore Tue 20-Sep-11 10:52:50

I think the problem is that many people don't know how to complain without ranting and getting cross.

fanjobanjowanjo Tue 20-Sep-11 10:54:17

Once I was shoe shopping with my mum in a chaotic shop, and a sales assistant threw a shoe at someone and it nearly hit my mum in the head, and stood there and laughed. Should we have complained about that?

sausagesandmarmelade Tue 20-Sep-11 10:56:19

I don't think people complain enough...

Paying customers deserve respect and a good service for their money.

If people don't complain...then services won't improve and people will have to tolerate bad behaviour.

Whether it's justified or not is up to managers to decide......


The customers staff are rude to may also have problems....and don't deserve shoddy treatment.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 20-Sep-11 10:57:08

Wellllll I posted on the flasher in a restaurant thread, initially with a YABU to complain.

But then after consideration I thought it was probably doing the staff a favour to bring the proprietor's attention to the goings on at their workplace, so shifted to a YANBU.

For this one? I dunno. I hate the grasping "you could get a freebie" thing. But there probably are times when a letter of complaint is justifiable. I certainly think it's more reasonable to bring genuinely crappy service to a company's attention than to name and shame on the Internet.

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