How to Make a Complaint
1. Complain right away. If that is not possible, then do it the same week or month- the sooner the better.
2. Speak to the right person. It is likely your first step will be to contact the clinic or practitioner by telephone. Avoid making your complaint over the phone, explain you have a complaint and ask for an appointment to see the right person- depending on the nature of the complaint, this will be either the practitioner who treated you or the clinic manager.
3. Be clear about what happened and how you want the situation to be resolved. Do you want the treatment results to be corrected, do you want a refund or financial compensation, would further treatment help you and if so, would you expect this to be free of charge? If it is a quality of service issue, would an explanation, apology and assurance that measures have been taken to prevent it happening again be a good outcome?
4. Avoid being hostile, emotional or confrontational and remain focussed on the details that can be addressed.
5. If you are not happy with the way your complaint has been managed informally, then you need to escalate to a formal process.
6. Write a formal letter of complaint. Ask for a copy of the clinic’s complaint policy. Get the name , job title, and email or address of the person responsible for managing complaints. Compose a cordial but firm letter stating what, where, when and who and the outcome you desire. Be clear that you expect a reply within a certain time period- a week is reasonable. Include your contact details and times during which you are available to speak.
• Email is usually the quickest way to get in touch in writing, but you may print a copy of your letter and send it through the post also.
• Keep records of all correspondence and if you have telephone conversations or meetings follow up with an email to document the details of the conversation had
• If you are satisfied with the way your complaint has been managed and resolved, a thank you letter would be in order.
• Social media. If your complaint is being ignored you might choose to post on the companies social media page, explain what has happened and ask for help. Do not do this unless you have already tried all the earlier steps. You will get better results if you don’t try to damage the companies reputation- don’t rant, be straightforward and reasonable.
• More Help. If you are not satisfied, refer to our advice sheet for information on organisations, regulators and consumer bodies who may be able to help.