How to Complain by Fearing No One
No institution is too big or too important to receive a letter of complaint.
Many people might, for example, regard the Post Office or their local council as a impenetrable fortress, impervious to the wishes of those that they are supposed to serve. In truth, behind the grey corporate façade there often lurks a human being with human emotions and a genuine desire to resolve your dispute. Governmental bodies, and multinational companies might seem to be unfathomable bureaucracies incapable of responding properly to a complaint but this is not necessarily so. This is a free country and for the price of a first class stamp you can write to whomsoever you like. No institution is too big or too important to receive a letter of complaint and you should never feel intimidated.
- A few years ago my wife and I were hoping to move home and found what we thought might be the house of our dreams. There was only one problem and that concerned some adjacent land owned by the Catholic Church. The essence of the issue was that there was a defect on the title of the property we wanted to buy that could only be resolved with the consent of the Catholic Church. Our conveyancing solicitors wrote to the Catholic Church several times but all to no avail. Eventually I decided to practice what I preach and “go to the top” rather than shy away. I wrote to the Cardinal Hulme (sadly no longer with us) and I emailed the Pope. Two days later Cardinal Hulme’s assistant resolved the matter without further ado and we moved house. I never did hear from the Pope (or his boss) but if you ever get the urge to contact him you can do so via the Papal website (www.vatican.va) or, I guess, by praying! The end result for me was perhaps the most shining example of the principle that you are perfectly entitled to complain to anyone you wish and that to behave like a shrinking violet is not the best way to get your complaint resolved. If I am struck down by lightning as a result of this blog, you will know that my advice is wrong. If not, follow it.