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The British are often typecast as too polite to complain or cause a fuss.
Research from the City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), suggests 15 million of us suffer in silence because we lack the confidence to complain.
Courage - Refunds - Redress
However, those who don't pluck up the courage to protest will often miss out on refunds and redress.
Every week, Money Mail's postbag is full of letters and emails complaining about shoddy service from banks, insurers and utility giants.
Survey - FCA - October - Cent - Service
Yet a survey for the FCA last October revealed that 28 per cent of us put up with poor service because we lack the know-how to speak up.
In many cases, a firmly-worded letter to your provider will do the job, but when that fails there are now numerous official alternative dispute resolution (ADR) schemes that help customers resolve gripes.
Here's our definitive guide on how to get what you are entitled to.
You can complain about a business if you are unhappy with the service you received or you have suffered financial loss, distress or inconvenience.
Complaint - Top - Email - Letter - Company
You should write 'formal complaint' at the top of an email or letter addressed to the company and request a written response.
Bullet point what has gone wrong and explain how you want the firm to resolve the issues.
Losses - Time - Phone - Company
List your direct financial and consequential losses, including time spent on the phone and how you have been inconvenienced. Ask the company to compensate you for this.
Include any evidence that supports your case and research the firm online to see if others have experienced the same treatment. Companies typically have eight weeks to respond.
Complaint - Deaf - Ears - Time - Complaints
If your complaint falls on deaf ears, or is refuted, it is time to turn to an official complaints service such as an Ombudsman or ADR scheme. Critics say they can be confusing and some are ineffective, but they are typically...
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