Here is The Right Way to Seek Redress

Complaining is often something many people do not like to do and is often looked upon with a frown but being badly treated is horrible and if you are in a situation where you feel you want redress here are some tips to help you

Say what is bothering you
Your first step in complaining about something is clearly to state your problem or issue. Don’t merely assume the wrong doer knows what happened and they know what you want. Say: “Hello, my names are… and describe what happened to you in their shop, salon, office, hotel, etc.

This person you confront is your initial point of contact so approach the person calmly and politely.

Ask for the person who can make a decision
More often than not you will speak to a person who does not have the power and ability to offer you a solution or even to accept your suggestion. This person may listen to you and make sympathetic noises but probably has no authority.

As soon as it becomes clear that the person you are complaining to is unable to help you or offer a solution; ask for the person who has the ability and authority to solve your problem.

Stand your ground and be resolute
Stand your ground and don’t be put off by stories of how the owners of the establishment are difficult or won’t understand or are not available. Get names and contact information and find out the best time to reach the person who can offer you a viable and acceptable solution.

Make one complaint at a time
Do not start rolling off 5 or more things that need quick resolution as this is a guaranteed way to get people to tune you out. Only one issue can really be addressed at a time so if you have a list of complaints, pick your one very pressing issue.
Maybe that one thing will solve the other problems on your long list.

Don’t lie or exaggerate
Exaggerating and embellishing a problem is not going to get it solved faster and it is usually obvious to customer-service personnel as they know when to read between the lines or the raised voices.

It is better to express a real sense of urgency by saying; I really need your help! And to keep to the facts and what actually happened.

Take note of whom you speak to
Keep a record of the conversation: when, and what was discussed. Most customer-service personnel will gladly give you their name, phone number, even an e-mail address.

If you hand deliver a letter-keep a copy for yourself and have your copy stamped or signed by the receiver. This copy will make things easier for you to follow up.

Be mindful that there is a process
To get better results allow the person helping you to do their job. There’s usually a procedure to follow. Know the time frame, and allow the other party to follow it. Do not hound the person and cause bad feelings.

Bad feelings may inadvertently lead to bad results.

Be patient
When a solution is finally agreed, give the other party ample time to implement it and allow a reasonable amount of time to elapse before calling back to verify that it’s been done.

If they’ve honestly and fairly assisted you, they’ll be glad to speak to you again to give you the good news- that your problem has been solved!


A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo