The Complain Game

Make a smart consumer decision.
You order a steak well-done at your favorite restaurant and the server brings out a pink, undercooked piece of meat.

What do you do?

Your parents have probably told you once or twice to "quit complaining," but sometimes it makes sense to complain.

You shouldn't have to pay for products or services that don't meet the standards you were promised.

When to complain

Will a new shirt rectify the problem?
While you shouldn't be afraid to complain about bad products or services, some issues aren't worth complaining about. For example, it's easy to pick an unwanted tomato off of a burger.

If you complain about every minor issue you have as a consumer, you could damage your relationship with a company.

The employees at that company might not be as helpful to you when a serious concern comes up and you've already complained to them about small incidents that weren't their fault.

Check out the infographic.

"It's always bad to cry wolf and abuse the system," says Susan Bach, Media Coordinator for the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin. "You want the organization to take you and your complaint seriously or they might have a reason to dismiss you."

Before you file a complaint, ask yourself these questions:

Art courtesy of iStock

True or False: Ben Franklin organized the first insurance company mostly to protect houses from fire. Click Ben's head for the answer.
TRUE: In 1751, he founded the first insurance company and called it the Philadelphia Contributorship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire.

University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI
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"I like this article a lot. A lot of good tips and how to go about complaining properly. Very well done and I agree with the steps to take. Everyone should read this one! Alex Majewski"
moloko528, 14, fort myers, fl

"I had something like this happen to me a few weeks ago. Good information to know. Thanks to the BBB for helping out the consumer. "
KevO, 17, San Marcos, TX

"This is a great article to write. People complain about the littlest things and make the biggest problem out of them. It is nice to tell people what to do when they complain and to be nice about it. When I really feel the need to complain, I will definitely follow this checklist. Also, it was great to make the last step on the checklist to say "Thanks." Even if one is going to complain, they should still be polite about it. "
busybee123, 15, Stafford, VA

"Interesting topic. I never knew that you could do things to resolve your complaint with a company after it has refused to help you. By the way, I like the simile in the title :p. "
Juice, 16, West Palm Beach, Fl

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