For the imperfect Fashion lover.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Why it ALWAYS Pays to Complain...Even When it Doesn't! #fakeituntilyoumakeit LINK UP

Complaining, eh?
It's not a very British thing, is it?

I know my US friends are (statistically) a little better at it, but most British people don't complain very well.
We don't want to make a fuss, or a scene.
We are often unsure of our rights.
Sometimes we can't be bothered with the hassle.

Having said that, I know plenty of British people who love to gripe and moan.
However, it's not usually to formally complain to the person (or company) they have beef with.
Most complaining goes on in hushed voices, behind peoples backs using phrases like

"I'm raging about this!"
"I'm going to slap her face one of these days!"
"I'm never coming back here again, it's was awful....he was SO rude!"
"This fell to bits after one wash, what a rip off!
"The food/service was an outrage!"

Unfortunately, most of these complaints are made in the ear of a friend (or colleague) who either agrees with the gripe, or lacks the guts to tell the moaner to shut up... "Either give it a rest, or do something about it!!".

As much as I love a good chat, I really dislike pointless moaning.
Procrastination is one of my pet peeves.

{Stop yacking and start doing!}

If I've got a complaint then I'm complaining to someone who can do something about it, and hopefully fix things for me.
I don't fester and's a waste of valuable energy that could be channelled into an email!

It always pays to complain.... even when it doesn't actually pay!
That goes for the complainee as well as the complainer!

Recently I complained to two companies...for totally different reasons.
One handled it well, the other pretty (very) poorly.

The first complaint was with a family restaurant in Edinburgh, called Jamie's Italian.
I emailed the company to complain that during the last two visits the service was so slow it was practically glacial, and the food was poor (overpriced and cold).

{Cold food is a deal breaker for me!}

I couldn't complain at the time, or send the food back, as the service had been so slow we were very late and had to run for a train.... quite literally!

I felt angry and let down, so I did something about it.

I complained.
The manager took details, and listened.
Then she did something that makes good business sense.
She offered me four main courses as a "Way of saying sorry".

So, not only did she make me feel like a valued customer but, she managed to get me (and my hard earned cash) back in the door.
Plus, we bought drinks and desserts on top of our 'Free' food, so the company made more money.
This seemed completely logical to me.
It's simply good business sense.

The second recipient of my complaint didn't handle it very well at all!
{Shakes head}

My friend had bought me a pair of Heist tights, as she had seen them advertised on Facebook and knows I love hosiery.
It was such a thoughtful gift.

I was thrilled, as they looked fab and I'm always on the look out for new tights!
Unfortunately, the tights split from the waistband when I took them off at the end of the day.
They were unfixable and unwearable as they had developed a huge run all the way down the leg.

I felt awful because my friend had spent £25 on them, and she would (understandably) feel sad if I told her.

So, I complained directly to the company.
Thinking they would ask me to send the damaged pair to them, assess the damage/fault and send me a replacement.
That makes good sense, right?
Erm..... apparently not!

First, they made it really difficult for me to lodge my complaint without actually involving my friend, and getting details of her order (which I was hoping to avoid).
Then, they said they were bought over 28 days ago and couldn't be returned...I'd already explained they were a gift.
Then they said that I was given a pair of size 6-8 tights and my gigantic 8-10 bum must have been too big for them.

{Okay, not those exact words but it was not dressed up subtly!}

Not even an offer of a discount off a new pair, or anything.
I was a little perplexed.

I'm no business brainbox but surely this isn't good practise?
Not only have they lost me as a potential customer (and I buy LOTS of tights) but they have also lost my friend.
It just doesn't make business sense!

If it was my company, I would send out a new pair PLUS a £10 discount voucher towards another pair, thus making my customer feel valued and practically guaranteeing further sales from that person and everyone they tell about my great customer service!

3 Reasons it ALWAYS Pays to Complain

1. It makes you feel better

Don't be a moaner, be proactive.
If you have an issue tackle it.
Even the process of making the complaint can make you feel so much better, even if nothing happens about it.
Plus, your friends will thank you!

2. You might get a little something for your trouble

Making your complaint could result in a free dinner, a refund, a discount voucher a brand new product or compensation.
You've got nothing to lose.

3. You can move on

Making your complaint heard can help you move on from a situation.
The tights could have niggled in the back of my head, and I might have been tempted to buy another pair (mine may have been faulty) just so I had the tights and did not upset my friend.
However, even though complaining didn't get me good service, I've still leaned something.
I won't be back and neither will she, so money has been saved.

{Which I'll spend on a(other) pair of Wolfords! 😛}

Are you a good complainer?
Can you share any good experiences.....or bad ones?
I'd love to hear about them!

Share your story here (in the comments) or send me an email... samantha44blair(at)

I love hearing your thoughts!

Last week the lovely Nancy's post caught my eye.... cats in Santa costumes???
Find out what she was up to HERE.



  1. Samantha, I can certainly identify with the notion that Americans are complainers, quite loud and vocal too. While one should never be taken advantage of, too often I think that sometimes complainers wind up being the ones who have taken more than they deserve. Not that I believe that this was the situation in your case with the tights. It surely sounds like the company was not willing to recognize any potential defect in their product and they will suffer from a lack of repeat purchases because of it. Kudos to you for your thoughtful efforts to address bad service and thank you for sharing your experiences.


    1. I hadn't thought of this side of things Rena.
      Thank you for giving me a different perspective.... a loud and rude serial-complainer must be such a bore too... maybe even worse than a non-complaining but constantly moaning person?
      Thank you for providing a different angle on this topic.

  2. Yes us brits do have a problem complaining, I often complain about poor quality clothing et, but very seldom about food! Silly isn't it. Thanks for sharing I'll try to be more assertive. x Jacqui

    1. We are funny things aren't we?
      I suppose we worry that we will seem rude, when someone has been so kind as to feed us :oP

  3. Sam, I agree with you completely that we should complain when complaining is due! But on the flip side, I also make it a point to praise when service is over the top exceeding expectations. I think all too often companies and managers are confronted with complaints (some valid and some just miserable people who like to complain about everything and are never satisfied), but are not as frequently told when they are doing a good job. So when I am met with service that is above and beyond my expectations, I make it a point to sing those praises loudly and publicly as well! Just as you did here with the restaurant that handled your complaint properly! There is a lot to be said about a business that knows how to right a wrong! Great post!

    1. Oh gosh Shelbee, I totally agree!
      Praise where praise is due.... I've emailed companies for this reason to and it feels just as good, doesn't it?

  4. I think that pointing some poor service or poor quality items is not only my right, but also makes me feel as a responsible costumer, as I'm doing something to improve the quality. Sometimes managers don't know about these problems until somebody complaint about them!
    And I really believe that sharing my real opinion on a b&b or hotel in the internet could make another people experience better, as they know what to expect!
    Complaints are really unfrequent here too, I think that people don't believe they could make a difference, but they do!

    1. Of course Monica! What an important point to make.
      Improving service is a great reason to complain too!

  5. That is hysterical about that stocking company! I can't believe they did that! Talk about bad customer service. Yes, I complain every time I feel a company is in the wrong. Recently I had to take an issue to the Better Business Bureau because a company kept money that was owed me. I received my refund within a week of filing the complaint!

  6. It's good to let a company or restaurant know about certain things like you did, Samantha. When I was working, it was nice to know if patients has complaints because otherwise I couldn't fix it.
    And you certainly get to know a company by how they respond to these complaints!!!

    1. I totally agree Jodie.
      You get a measure of how important customers are to the company for sure!
      A brand that wants us to come back will treat us well.

  7. Oh I ALWAYS complain... but nicely! I never ever get angry unless I'm so at the end of my tether that they've driven me to distraction. Being pleasant (nearly) always gets you everywhere, and if it doesn't then the company has a serious problem.

    A sign of good customer service is not how they they deal with you when things are going right, but how they deal with you when things are going WRONG... I ran a customer service team for many years and this is always what I told them! 100% agree with you on all points my lovely Samatha!

    (Big up to Jamie's btw) x

    1. I TOTALLY agree Catherine.
      There's never a need to be loud, rude or unpleasant.
      I've only even shouted and been less than ladylike when my children were in danger.... but that's just instinct kicking in (Like a lioness :oP).
      Politeness and calmness always works much better!

    2. Ah I can relate to Catherine - charm will get you everywhere, but I will complain if necessary and really stand my ground. I am known for getting the best hotel rooms this way...but always remain charming ;-) Charm is the key to all doors - hehe!


  8. My husband is a bit of an assertiveness pro! His tip is always to know what outcome you want (a replacement, a refund, a discount, whatever), before making a complaint, and to ask for it, so that you don't just come away feeling frustrated.

    1. What a great tip Fran!
      I'm going to try that next time, not just wait to see what is offered.

  9. Oh what a lovely surprise! Thank you very much Samantha!

    1. You're very welcome Nancy.
      Cat's in santa costumes, looking miserable about it, made me laugh out loud!

    2. I know! I am looking forward to December! Then I will dress them up again! LOL.

  10. I agree Sam, that there are certain instances where you have to complain. Poor service or food being cold is a pet peeve of mine. if i get food that is cold, I don't want to eat it. I ill then have them return it and heat it up. That was very good of the restaurant you ate at to make amends by offering 4 meals! i had a frustrating experience lately where the lasership called me to first tell me that my Zara box was delivered not to my address. Wanted me to go pick it up and did not apologize for the error. they said it was 'in the same neighborhood' only to learn it was miles away... wierd, and frsutrating. But customer service is not what it used to be!

    Have a good week Sam! sorry to hear about the stockings, that was poor!
    jess xx

    1. Cold food is the worst, isn't it Jess! Yuck.... and 'warmed up' isn't much better.
      Your delivery story is all too familiar with many people. SO frustrating!
      Companies need to do better.

  11. Forgiveness is not something an entrepreneur is entitled to when a customer spends their money and is NOT served according to the value of the expected service. Complaining is asserting your right to state clearly that your expectations weren't met and you expect fair compensation.
    Interesting post Samantha!

  12. It seems really apropos to do it on this post, but I was just going through your blog's archives on my RSS feed and it looks like your posts are now truncated. Please don't do this. It's super annoying as a reader. I love your blog and I think you're adorable and stylish but I just can't deal with the clicking over every time.

    1. I'm sorry you find clicking through to my site annoying but I had to change the layout as I was losing valuable traffic. The feed is supposed to encourage readers to visit my site but it was keeping my visitors away by showing all of my content elsewhere.
      I hope to keep blogging and to do this I need clicks and pageviews.
      I'm sorry if I've lost you as a visitor, and I hope you find other blogs to follow on your RSS feed without the need to click.
      Thank you for letting me know your thoughts though... I appreciate the feedback.

    2. Honestly? I have to give you credit for responding to my comment in a measured way instead of just deleting it. I've had more than one blogger just delete my comment or mark it as spam when I mention something like this. I do like your blog enough to click through, and I really appreciate you taking the time here.

  13. I used to hate complaining until I met my good friend Jo who'd spent a bit of time in the US and expected excellent customer service in every situation. She would send her coffee back for being too cold, tell the waiter that the wine was horrible, you name it, she'd complain about it...but always with a smile! She taught me that it pays to speak up, and now with social media it's so much easier. Often brands will respond much more quickly on Twitter than they will in an email!

    Emma xxx


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