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Gentlemanly the art of complainingLast week I lost five hours of my life which I will never get back. I don’t want to re-live the details, its all much too painful an experience, but it did teach me a thing or two about the gentlemanly art of complaining.

What I will say is that my issue was with a retailer and involved a new mobile phone for my son. What could have been a simple 20 to 30 minute transaction; in and out of the store and a happy young man with his new phone, turned into the best part of the day battling with the computer systems of the retailer, the phone company, the network, the banks and a credit card reference company.

I managed, after my second visit to the retailer to get extremely steamed up and angry, mainly out of frustration with the systems. It was a real “The computer says no!” moment. All I knew was I was unable to get a phone and the assistant blamed the system and was really much more interested in moving on to the next commission generating customer rather than solving my issue.

However, I managed to retain my Gentlemanly calm, mostly, and headed off to the phone to do battle with the companies Head Office.

Now, it is usually easier to get angry with someone over the phone as there is no physical presence but I decided to take a totally Gentlemanly approach and sat down to calm myself with a cup of tea before I lifted the phone to start the next stage of the battle. The result was that as I picked up the phone I was calm, patient and conciliatory.

It may be total coincidence that I managed to get through to talk to one of the most charming and helpful customer service operators it has ever been my pleasure to deal with but I am absolutely certain that by starting out with the right attitude I made her job much more pleasant and the result was that he went out of her way to help me.

The resolution of the problem took, in all another two and a half hours but she regularly called me back, I was kept informed, which helped me stay calm as I knew my issue was being resolved.

My issue was sorted in time for the company to despatch my son’s phone by courier that night. It arrived the following day and he is now happy and his father is resolved that in future he will always practice the Gentlemanly art of complaining:

·        Be calm

·        Be rational

·        Treat the person you are complaining too as a human being/an equal

·        Be patient

·        Understand that is most cases people are doing their best to help you

·        When everything works out take the time to let the person who helped know that you appreciate them


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