Complaining is a mental state.

Why is it that many of us make up excuses for poor service or poor quality? Why is it many of us avoid complaining? For the most part the answer to both of the above questions, I have found, is, many of us are afraid of confrontation, many of us don’t know what to say, so we settle!

Do not settle!

If you don’t ask or complain you won’t get anything. As Wayne Gretsky said,¬†” You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” So take a shot and go for it. I’ve had many a friend or colleague complain in general conversation about something they purchased that went on the blink or a car repair just out of warranty. The difference is they were whining about it, they didn’t take the shot, they didn’t complain, they settled and paid for the repair or threw the product that wasn’t working in the garbage or paid to have it fixed. Not this self taught complainer, although I like to think of myself as a negotiator, it sounds better, not as negative! But for simplicity let’s stay with complainer, a positive complainer!

Complaining is a mental state. Don’t make excuses for the employees, businesses, manufacturers or service providers. It seems many of us do make excuses. Excuses at restaurants for slow service such as, they must be shorthanded. I don’t care if they are shorthanded, I’m the one paying for good service and good food. If I get it then I tip well. If I don’t, then I complain. The restaurant management should have systems in place if they are shorthanded in order not to ruin my experience or others. The Manager needs to know about your experience, that’s how they can improve and that’s how you save money by complaining. I have complained many a time and had $200 tabs covered.(more on how to do that in future posts.)

Some people make excuses for purchased products that break unusually quickly through no fault of their own. Excuses such as, oh well it’s just my bad luck. Not in my mind. I had an OtterBox case that fell and chipped. It saved my BlackBerry. (I’m Android user now!) The fact the OtterBox case chipped and was just over a year old still upset me. I didn’t settle. I fired an email to OtterBox, they sent me a new case. Thank you OtterBox! (I’ll post the email I sent to them in a later post.)

I have the attitude of “what gives them the right to inconvenience me, what gives them the right to charge me for this, what gives them the right to leave me on hold for 20 minutes and then transfer me and then for me to start all over again, why should I have to accept this, why should I have to pay for this? I’m not angry when I ask these questions when I run into a potential incident that may result in me complaining. I take the emotion out of it. Oh and by the way I am asking the questions in my head, not out loud! When the answer to these questions doesn’t add up in their favour, I ask myself, do i have a valid complaint and continue ¬†through my five essential rules of complaining which again are as follows:

  1. Ask yourself, “do i have a valid complaint?”
  2. Know what your goal is.
  3. Know who to complain to.
  4. Make detailed notes and log conversations.
  5. Be polite, professional and use your manners.


Sometimes I settle but it is calculated. For example, just yesterday my wife and I went to Tim Horton’s in Toronto. (similar to Dunkin Donuts for my neighbours to the south) When we order a bagel we always order double cheese. Sounds simple, a normal bagel with cheese has two slices of cheese, double cheese would be four slices. You would be surprised how often this order gets screwed up. When we go through a drive thru we always check to see if we get four slices before we leave, oddly enough I’d say 50% of the time it is wrong no matter what Tim’s we are at. Yesterday we went into the store to order. One bagel had four slices of cheese and one bagel had three slices. Did I have a complaint? Yes. What was my goal? My goal was to get out of the store and back on the road with our girls quickly, so I didn’t complain to the server. I knowingly settled in order to get back on the road.

In the car my wife and I talked about it and how they got it wrong again. Then my wife said it, she made an excuse for them, she settled, she said “they were busy.” OMG! I asked her, so when they are busy they have permission to get people’s orders wrong? Do you forget the book I’m writing? Mental state honey! She just laughed and agreed and asked when am I going to write Tim Horton’s advising that perhaps they have a training issue as it has happened to us at many different locations.

My point of my post here at the beginning of 2015 is for you to consider looking at things differently. Not to become a constant obnoxious complainer everywhere you go but rather a person who stands up for oneself. A person who holds businesses, manufacturers and service providers accountable. A person who does not settle. Become an educated effective complainer in order to save money. I will help you and help you become that person or help you get better if you already are an effective complainer. I will help you through my posts and answering your comments or emails.

Thank you,