Skills in expressing
your complaint

How you express your complaint is as important as what you have to complain about.

• Assertiveness skills are very useful when complaining. The calmer you can be the more chance you have of getting the people you are talking to to listen.
• Think about your strategy – could your concern be sorted out in ways other than a formal complaint?
• Always be clear as to what you want from making a complaint and what you want to be different.
• Be prepared to be patient as complaints can take time to be investigated while people check out with others before making a judgement.
• Be confident – you have a right to receive a satisfactory service and to speak up if it is not right for you
• Bear in mind that sometimes when you are not happy about the way things are, that they may not be able to be changed (e.g. it is a law) or that you may have misunderstood something. You still have a right to express your view on this though. Be prepared to ask for something to be explained more.
• Remember that how something feels to you is what is important and if you feel that what has happened is not right then you have a right to complain and be fully heard in that complaint.

Things you could say to start talking about your complaint

“I don’t quite understand this…”

“Something happened that I don’t feel happy about…”