Remember the focus of making a complaint is to correct a wrong, or to prevent a wrong happening someone else, to hold wrongdoers accountable so that high standards can be maintained. It’s not for to throw a wobbly, to ventilate your spleen etc (although these may be necessary to force a non-responsive system to pay attention and to take appropriate action)
However, any use of your energy which fails to make the Person, or organisation accountable is of no use to anyone else. As Roy Keane said “Fail to prepare! Prepare to Fail!” So focus on the GOAL!
Keep a record of every interaction between you and the organisation/Person. This includes keeping a written up to date Diary, or computer based written or audio record. Make sure to record Dates, Times, Names and official capacity of everyone you deal with, those you meet face to face and those you talk on the phone to or email etc.
When you communicate with someone in authority, ALWAYS request details of the other person’s rank or official position and contact details. It is always best to ask for these details at the start of the conversation, before you get into any detail. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask for indentification and contact details. If you can’t make out the name (eg on the phone), Do ask again, check spelling etc or ask them to spell the detail for you.
Spend most of your time asking for information! For example, before going into any details of your complaint take the time to ask first for all the details of any complaints process (See example) that the organisation has (or ask is the person a member of representative organisation which supervises professional Standards and then go to that organsiation and get complaints process information from them).
Only after you have received all the information about the “Relevant” complaints process, AND you have read the details, then go to the trouble of writing out your complaint in your own time. Before you lodge the complaint, show it to a reliable friend, get them to review it for errors, and most importantly to make sure it reads ok, that it makes sense (other wise you will let someone off the hook!).
Lodge your written complaint, making sure you have proof that you lodged. For example, get a reliable person to deliver it by hand, or send it by registered post, or if emailing it enable the tracking options, request a confirmation email of receipt, bcc a friend and ask them to keep a copy.
If you get no acknowledgment of receipt of your complaint after one week, send a reminder every 3 or 4 days, titling each subsequent reminder (Reminder No.1,2,3, etc) until you get confirmation of receipt. If you persistantly get no response, seek out the next person up the accountability ladder and then send your complaint to them, along with a second complaint that your initial notices of complaints were not acknowledged (remember to send copies of your initial complaint)
You will by now realise that you will possibly have to deal with a huge amount of details and reams of correspondence. Quite often the approach of “Officials” in the furtherance of non-accountability and wastage of endless amounts of taxpayers monies will use the siege approach to tire you out. There’s no point in doing 7 furlongs and not completing the mile. Finish what you begin! At the very least, collect all your correspondence in one lot (preferably have it in digital format, scanned etc) and write a summary of the position to date.
The important thing to remember about half making a complaint or processing it in a sloppy manner, is that if you have a valid complaint and you fail (because of your own lack of attention) to “put the ball away” the person you complained against is likely to get stronger and feel untouchable and they will often treat the next poor sucker even worse than you.
If the same person makes a number of different mistakes, then the fault is with that person:
If a number of different people make the same mistake then the fault is with the process and/or the system
More to Follow…….