How to file a complaint against a business

You can file a complaint on-line, by e-mail or by telephone at (441) 297-7627. However, the first step in resolving a problem is to contact the business who sold you the product or service.

How do I Complain in Person?

  • Stop using the item. You may lose the right to reject the goods if you continue to use them once you discover they are defective;
  • Contact the business who sold you the product or service. Ask to speak to a person who has the authority to resolve the problem, such as the business owner or manager;
  • Be clear as to what you are seeking - refund, compensation, or re-servicing;
  • Be firm, polite, but insistent. Do not lose your temper, swear or become personally abusive; show respect
  • Do not exaggerate or give false statements regarding the issue;
  • Be patient. Give the business the chance to sort out your problem.

You should always keep a record of who you speak to, the date you spoke to them and what was said.

How do I Complain in Writing?

If you are not successful in resolving your issue in person, write a carefully worded letter. You can download sample letters of complaint including:

In order to draft an effective letter of complaint you will need to:

  • Get the name and position of the person you need to write to;
  • Give a brief outline of the complaint  (including where and when you bought the goods or services and what the problem is); 
  • Keep your language neutral and professional;
  • Provide clear and appropriate grounds for your claim i.e. sale-of-Goods-Amendment-Act-2002.pdf or the supply-of-Services-Implied-Terms-Act-2003.pdf;
  • Outline a clear request for the redress you are seeking and set a reasonable deadline for the response.  This might be 14 days in the case of a request for a refund, but longer if you want a major problem put right;
  • Make sure the letter is clear and legible;
  • Include your full address, postal code, order number or account number;
  • Tell them where you can be contacted during office hours;
  • Keep a copy of the letter for your records;
  • Do not send original documents, always send photocopies;
  • Send the letter by registered post or hand deliver it.

If you are not satisfied with the response to your letter, or if you get no response, then you should file a complaint with Consumer Affairs.

What You Should Remember When Complaining

  • Keep a record of events. If you speak to someone on the phone make a note of who you speak to, when and what was said. Keep a copy of any letters and any replies you receive.
  • Keep the evidence. Retain all receipts/invoices, letters and e-mails regarding products and services that you may have purchased/received. If you are asked to present these at any stage then present copies and keep the originals yourself.
  • Remain calm. Don't let the emotion of the moment get to you. If you are not getting an adequate response then simply take the next step in the procedure as advised above.
  • Write clearly and concisely. Be polite and courteous but don't be afraid to convey the detail of any incident and to articulate your disappointment. Be clear about what you think would resolve your complaint.
  • Know your rights under the law.
  • Don't give up.
  • Praise where praise is deserved. Most organisations welcome complaints but certainly praise as well.

How to learn more about Consumer Affairs?

The Consumer Affairs Education Officer is responsible for educating both the consumer and the business community in all aspects of the Consumer Protection Act 1999, Supply of Services (Implied Terms) Act 2003, the Copyright and Design Act 2004, Sale of Goods Act 2007, Rent Increases (Domestic Premises) Control Act 1978 and all other Consumer Related legislation that deals with the purchase of goods and services. Please contact us if you are interested in a presentation, lunch and learn, hands on training or just want more information.

Call (441) 27297-7627 or email for further information.