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Why Complain? Why NOT Complain?

More than once, I have touched on whether it is better to suffer in silence or complain about lousy service. Complain when you feel you have been treated badly. Many years ago, my belief was reinforced that the only people who suffer in silence are martyrs-in-waiting. Then again, Martyrs typically end up being burned at stake. That was Joan of Arc, but you see my point.

We were staying at a hotel in Toronto because my daughter was playing in a basketball tournament. The first night there, we learned that the room we were given had a big noise problem (it faced into the atrium area of the hotel, and the sliding glass door did not close properly). My wife (not a shrinking violet) called and complained. Thus we ended up with a new room (the next day) and complimentary breakfast. Was this suitable compensation for my son not sleeping enough? Not really, but it was better than nothing.

The following night, we had another incident with a drunken woman kicking a door on our floor at 2:30 AM. I complained to the manager, and I seem to have received a discount on our rooms for the weekend.

I would have thought this was the least complaining most people would do, but I have had more than one person comment to me that they would have never complained about these incidents, and all I can think is, really? You would sit there and suffer in silence in a noisy room or when a drunken woman keeps you awake?

The Worst They Can Say is No

If you complain, the worst answer you can get is, “I am sorry, we can’t do anything for you“. Rarely will the person you are complaining to threaten your life (note I say rarely, and once that did happen to me). So why not say something?

Remember I have said before with Free Banking if you do not complain or at least question things, you are going to have to live with your situation (and I question whether you are allowed to complain about it either). Am I out of line with this point of view?

Feel Free to Comment

  1. I find it hard to believe that people would not dream of complaining if placed in your hotel situations.

    After my ceiling fell in I had to move to a nearby hotel in the middle of the night. So tiny was my room, I felt as though the air conditioner was sleeping in the bed with me. When I complained and expressed my disappointment, I was given a huge suite for the same price where I lived in luxury at my landlord’s expense while he had my apartment repaired.

  2. Frugal Guy With Balance

    First folks that don’t complain do a disservice to the rest of the public. To many folks leave tips when service or meals are substandard.

    My motto has always been if you don’t ask you don’t get.

    I just bought a Dell Computer and noticed a $50 coupon which I had not redeemed. I phoned politely and they told me to pound sand in respectful way. I thought that’s life my fault for missing the coupon and my computer will be delivered in a few days.

    I get a call from Dell this morning we would like to redeem that coupon that you had not redeemed. I was floored and my opinion of Dell has soared.

    So as I said earlier if you Don’t Ask You Don’t GET!

  3. I’ve worked in various customer services positions and would rather customers let us know they’re unhappy so we can fix the problem.

    That being said, there’s a difference between making a reasonable complaint and request for compensation versus abuse and bullying (which, sadly, I’ve faced too.) I say bring the problem to a manager’s attention, but be fair too.

    And having worked in a hotel, i can safely say that the people running it would want to know if someone was kicking at doors and waking up guests! I’m sure the other guests on your floor would have thanked you the next day if they had known you had ended their misery 🙂

    1. Excellent point, never be abusive to the service folks you deal with (I have been on the other end as well, but I am much ruder and thus I didn’t last long in those jobs). It usually is not the fault of the person you are talking to, so show some respect when you talk to folks, you might be surprised what they CAN do for you.

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