Stop whingeing and start complaining
31 October 2011
If you bought a product or service that’s not working out, don’t just whinge about it to your friends and family. Complain to the trader to get it sorted out properly.
It’s much easier to argue when you feel confident that you are in the right. Find out what laws apply by checking at consumeraffairs.govt.nz, or visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau. Print out the page or a copy of the brochure that explains the law.
Get together your receipt and anything else that provides evidence of the problem, like an advertisement, the faulty good, a quote and/or photographs. Make a note of the date, time, and what the trader or shop assistant said about the goods. You shouldn’t need a receipt if you have another way of proving that you got the item or service from that trader.
Go back to the trader
Calmly explain the problem to the trader. It might be sorted out straight away. Be firm about what you want and try not to get into an argument. If the first person you talk to isn’t being very helpful, ask to see the manager or supervisor.
If that doesn’t work then write a complaint letter to the trader. You could also write to the trader’s head office. Start keeping a record of everything that happens. Keep a copy of your letter and only send a photocopy of your evidence. Keep the originals so they don’t get lost.
Taking your complaint further
If you and the trader can’t agree then consider taking the complaint further. Some industries have free (and independent) disputes resolution services. You can also make a claim in the Disputes Tribunal. The Disputes Tribunal may help you and the trader reach an agreement or may make a decision about what is fair.
Disputes Resolution Services
Telecommunications Dispute Resolution
Electricity and Gas Complaints Commission
Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal
Insurance and Savings Ombudsman
Financial Services Complaints Ltd
Financial Dispute Resolution