You’re feeling peckish, so you head to your local fast-food restaurant, and upon arriving home, you find the staff has forgotten your chips. You’re out shopping, and you see a dress you like, but they don’t have your size, so you ask a member of staff for help. They’re completely incompetent, unhelpful and infuriate you. You check your bank statement only to see an error. So you walk into your local branch to make a complaint, try to sort the problem out, and leave more puzzled than when you went in.
These are just a small collection of the issues we all have to (unfortunately) face on a daily basis as hearing people.
So you can’t just take it; you must contact the company and complain. You ring customer service, only to be told you’ve got the wrong department after already explaining your problem. Then they pass you over to the relevant department, and you stay on hold for an hour listening to the worst quality of music known to man, wondering if they’ve forgotten about you.
Then you have to repeat yourself, again. Only to get no further as the member of staff you’re talking to doesn’t know the correct ways to help with your issue. So you’re just stuck going round and round wondering when, if at all, the matter will be dealt with.
That’s part of the fun and games of dealing with poor customer service. Anyway, I’m going off on a bit of a tangent here. It doesn’t have to be that difficult, and it certainly doesn’t have to be that confusing!
It is important to know your rights.
I’m Deaf, So How Do I Make A Complaint?
Well, now I’ve stopped rambling, I can sit down, talk you through the steps and help you through the process of making a complaint:
Ask For A Copy Of The Complaints Procedure/Process
Every company is different, and seeing their complaints procedure/process will tell you what exactly you need to do to have your problem/issue looked at.
Write To The Organisation
It is possible, 1 of the most accessible methods for deaf people, as no face-to-face or telephone conversation needs to take place. If you need help putting your words on paper, enlist the help of an interpreter or fellow communication expert that can check that what you’ve written is what you want to say.
As soon as possible after the issue/problem has occurred, get in contact with the seller or service provider. The address of the organisation can be found on their website.
Write your letter, clearly detailing your problem and what you want the solution to be. You will likely have to wait for a reply.
Upon receiving the reply, they may ask for more details or explain they cannot help you. If you are not happy with what they’ve said, you can take the matter further by contacting their head office directly or by going through the next step in the companies’ Complaint Procedure/Process.
It is less likely for a letter to be ignored than other methods. Maintain a copy of each letter you send and receive.
E-mail The Organisation
Similar to mailing them a letter, emailing the organisation takes away from any face-to-face communication and can easily be done in your own time in the comfort of your own home.
A list of relevant email addresses can be found on the organisation’s website or through a quick search on Google.
Similar to writing a letter, you will have to wait for a reply. However, an email is sent and delivered almost instantly and can be easily saved for later use.
If you are in the position of having access to an interpreter, it can be a much quicker way of making your complaint in British Sign Language.
Some organisations offer a form on their website that you can fill in, which will file your complaint.
Phone The Organisation
Alternatively, if you use your voice and can access sound, then you can make a phone call. Making a call can be a quicker alternative to a letter or e-mail.
The number for the organisation and different departments can be found on their website or through a quick search via a search engine.
Some companies offer a service that allows an interpreter to connect with the deaf person via a video call which enables them to sign and relay information between the deaf person and the other party. Many large organisations such as Sainsbury’s and Vodafone offer access for deaf people this way.
With the evolution of the Internet and social media, it is now even easier to complain. Great, right?!
Whoever the organisation you wish to complain to is, the likelihood is they’re on Facebook, Twitter etc.—making it even easier to contact them about any issues you may have.
Simply visit their Facebook page or other social media account and send your complaint. Explaining you are deaf could lead to help and understanding from the organisation on how to provide services that suit your needs.
However, they may get loads of comments and simply cannot wade through them all; they may not hold quite as much importance and priority as, say, a phone call or email, especially if your comment gets filtered out by all the other incoming comments.
Visit/Revisit The Organisation (Face-to-Face)
If none of the above methods is to your liking, they haven’t worked out, or you’re simply passing by the organisation anyway, then popping into their building can be a good way of making your complaint and taking it seriously.
If you’re worried about there being a possible misunderstanding, then don’t hesitate to bring along an interpreter to help you in getting your complaint across and solving the issue.
Remember to bring any receipts or other relevant evidence that supports your complaint.
I hope We Have Helped
We hope this blog post has been an eye-opener for you. We all have the right to complain should the customer service not be as it should be!
We here at terptree don’t promote being a negative Nancy, but we do promote a high level of customer service and happy customers!
If you’ve made a complaint and had great/poor customer service, leave your comments and let us know!
It is always great to celebrate the success stories and seek improvements in organisations where the experience hasn’t been as expected.