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Planning Retirement Online

Guide to Complaining

Complaining is something that comes naturally to some people but is very difficult for others. Some of us seem to complain about anything and everything, just for the sake of it, and others of us are far too embarrassed to ever complain about anything.

Man shouting into phone with frustrationThere is certainly no shortage of things to complain about on occasions, be it shoddy goods, late delivery, poor customer service, non-existent after-sales service, poor meals in restaurants, surly or off-hand staff - the list is endless. However, there is a huge gap between feeling hard done-by and making an effective complaint that satisfies us and provides the remedy that we feel is appropriate.

It may or may not be true that we become a bit grumpier as we get older - the 'grumpy old man' (and woman) syndrome but it's also true to say that, as a generalisation, people over 50 are not very good at complaining. It seems that younger people are more willing to do it and are therefore better at it - they get more practice!

This means that, for those of us who fit the general pattern, we don't always get the service that we should and that we have a right to expect. On the other hand, those of us who complain too much probably experience feelings of frustration when all our complaints don't get solved to our satisfaction. So there is a balance to be struck and a time to complain legitimately.The Joys of Complaining: The Consumers' Guide to Getting Even

For those of us who have reached the age of 50 or so without complaining very much it could be difficult to change our habits and learn to question things when we have a right to. If the grumpy old person theory is true, this might help a bit since we're likely to become a bit less tolerant as we get older but, as a whole, we're still going to find it difficult. So this guide is designed to help us to complain when we should by giving some hints and tips about when it's right to complain, how to complain, who to complain to and so on.

For those of us who complain anyway, reading the Guide might help you to refine your technique and be more efficient at it.

Guide to Complaining links

There's not a lot of literature about this topic but there are some books on it, both serious and more light-hearted. If you'd like to read about the various aspects of complaining, click on the book image above or on the other pages of the Guide to find out more about the books shown.

We should complain when we have proper reason to; if we're paying for goods and services it's only right that we should be treated properly. On the other hand, complaining for complaining's sake can be counter-productive and probably does nothing for our blood pressure and general health! So be selective but don't be afraid to do it when necessary.

So read the rest of the Guide to find out how to be as effective as possible when the need arises to assert your rights as a consumer. If you have any hints or tips that you would like to share in order to make us all better at complaining, please do so through the feedback form or by going to our Forum.

This Guide is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
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