How to Make an Effective Complaint
Browse articles:
Auto Beauty Business Culture Dieting DIY Events Fashion Finance Food Freelancing Gardening Health Hobbies Home Internet Jobs Law Local Media Men's Health Mobile Nutrition Parenting Pets Pregnancy Products Psychology Real Estate Relationships Science Seniors Sports Technology Travel Wellness Women's Health
Browse companies:
Automotive Crafts, Hobbies & Gifts Department Stores Electronics & Wearables Fashion Food & Drink Health & Beauty Home & Garden Online Services & Software Sports & Outdoors Subscription Boxes Toys, Kids & Baby Travel & Events

How to Make an Effective Complaint

Everyone is put in a position where they need to make a complaint at some point. Knowing how to do so effectively can give you confidence to stand up for your rights

It’s never east to make a complaint. However there will be times when you are dissatisfied or feel you are being treated unfairly. The only thing to do under such circumstances is to make your feelings known, especially if you think your rights have been violated. You may purchase a product which doesn’t work, or feel someone has treated you unfairly.

Take five

Before making a complaint take a few moments to fully focus and become grounded. If you are angry and complain by shouting, swearing or raising your voice and talking in an aggressive manner this won’t help your cause. Likewise nervous agitation caused by anxiety may result in you having trouble saying what you want to say, or in you speaking hurriedly in a high pitched tone of voice.

Take five minutes to breathe deeply and come to your senses. This way you won’t rush headlong into a badly formulated and highly emotional complaint.


Before complaining clarify what you want to say in your mind. Formulate a clear and concise way of getting your message across. Also make sure you are correct about believing you are justified in making a complaint in the first place. This will save you from embarrassment if it turns out you’ve made a mistake and jumped to conclusions hastily.

Complain to the right person

Complain to the person in the front seat of a business, rather than staff lower down on the scale who probably don’t have the authority to help you solve the problem at large.


If you are complaining to someone privately, such as a noisy neighbour, pick your time carefully so that they will be open to listening to you. If they are about to rush off to work, or have friends to visit they won’t want to hear what you have to say.

Delivery of speech

When you complain do so calming and with an even tone of voice. Try not to embarrass the person you are complaining to by speaking so loudly so that other people over hear. Once you’ve made your complaint ask if you’ve been understood, or whether you need to clarify the issue.


There are always two sides to a situation. In some cases you will obviously be right, such as returning a faulty item to a shop. However on other occasions the situation may not be cut and dry. Even if you are justified it can help to listen to an explanation as to why the events occurred.

State your rights

Hopefully your complaint won’t fall on deaf ears and you be receive an apology and compensation if this is appropriate. If you are still unsatisfied however be ready to state your claim. Have written information, receipts or any other information to hand which will help back you up in making a complaint and prove you are correct about what you are saying and demanding.

It may not be easy to make a complaint but it is often necessary. Doing so will help you to stand up for yourself and receive good service and appropriate treatment.

Additional resources:

Need an answer?
Get insightful answers from community-recommended
in Psychology on Knoji.
Would you recommend this author as an expert in Psychology?
You have 0 recommendations remaining to grant today.
Comments (3)

nice and informative.

Very nice piece of work.

good helpful advice, thanks