Although there is a lot to be said for complaining with a hard copy, complaining by email also holds advantages. These are my top tips:-
  • We live in the 21st Century and many companies are geared up to receive complaints by email rather than snail mail.  You may elicit a speedier response by doing so.
  • Do not feel compelled to complain via the company’s own online complaints procedure albeit that you follow this as well as doing your own thing.
  • There is nothing to stop you from writing a letter and complaining online too.  Complain by email but by all means cut and paste your complaint into a letter and fire that off too.  For the added cost of a stamp, why not? Complaining by email is cheap compared to any other means.  Indeed, it doesn’t get much cheaper than free.
  • Emails are good for adopting a scatter-gun strategy.  It is just as easy to email the chief executive as it is to email the entire main board of the company in question. If you want to email someone senior at the company but the company will not give you his or her email address, this is usually quite easy to find out.   Find out the email address of someone else and, following the same pattern, email the Chief Executive or the Chairman by their name.
  • Keep your email short and to the point.  It is more likely to grab attention in this format.  If you have much more to say then add attachments: pictures, a schedule showing expenses and so on.
  • If you are mounting a complaint by email, do it on your own email account from home.  Do not email using your firm’s email address doing so on the firm’s time.  This looks bad and is bad.
  • There is no harm in making your email look quite punchy.  Embolden the text and perhaps make it a bit larger than you normal do.
  • Feel free to involve third parties if they are helpful and this is of course much easier by email.  Be careful however of being defamatory – the laws of libel apply as much to emails as they do to letters.
  • Emails are a great way to get a petition going and a snowball effect.  Alternatively, gather up support via a social networking site if your complaint is more general in nature.