2nd August 2018
If someone takes the time to complain about your business they are clearly disappointed with the service they have received. Recognising this is important if you want to preserve customer relations and avoid a serious complaint ending up in court.
The key to ensuring damage limitation is to have an effective complaints procedure and to seek early legal advice where it is clear the complaint could escalate into something more serious if not handled appropriately, as Tim Newsome, commercial dispute resolution lawyer with Myers & Co Solicitors in Stoke on Trent explains.
Every business needs a complaints handling procedure, which as a minimum explains:
For any complaint about the quality of goods you have supplied or the standard of a service you have performed, consideration should be given to whether legal advice is needed. This will be the case for any complaint where the customer alleges they have been hurt or suffered damage because of something you have done and there is mention of compensation of more than a notional amount being sought.
By seeking early legal advice, you can ensure that:
As Tim explains:
‘By speaking to a dispute resolution lawyer as soon as possible you will be able to approach the complaint fully aware of your potential liability and with the benefit of suggestions from your lawyer about commercially sensible terms for settlement. Not only will this save you time in the long-run, but also money in the majority of cases.’
‘And remember, the other advantage of seeking legal advice at an early stage is that if a complaint is obviously groundless your lawyer will advise you of this and you can then reject the complaint safe in the knowledge that this is the right thing to do.’
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.