How to complain


  • The sensible consumer insists on good value for his money in quality, durability and service. Not only does the consumer benefit from this, but also the seller and the manufacturer.
  • In order to improve products and services, the seller and manufacturer must receive feedback from customers. Market research to determine whether products and service comply with the requirements of the consumer is done annually at great expense.
  • When a consumer is dissatisfied with a product or service, it is his right and duty to express this dissatisfaction to the dealer or the manufacturer so that the latter can rectify or resolve the issue satisfactorily.
  • This booklet can help you get greater satisfaction from your purchase.
  • Complain to the right person as soon as possible. The manager or owner of the store – not the shop assistant – makes the policy. Should you fail to achieve satisfactory results, you may in certain cases wish to complain to the manufacturer or distributor.
  • Keep the number and date of all invoices, receipts or warranties on record and take the relevant document along if you lodge your complaint personally.
  • Note the name of the person to whom you complain.
  • Put important complaints in writing. Quote your order or invoice number clearly. You may also wish to register your letter. Keep copies of your correspondence and replies.
  • Be brief and set out your complaint clearly. Long, rambling complaints tend to lead to delays. Be business-like!
  • Don’t mail or hand receipts or other important documents to anyone. Use photocopies and keep the originals in a safe place.
  • If you do not receive a reply within two to three weeks, send a follow-up letter and attach a copy of your original complaint as it might have gone astray in the mail or been mislaid by the recipient.
  • Ensure that your facts are correct. If necessary, consult the instructions one again.
  • Indicate how you paid (eg cash, cheque, credit card).
  • What do you expect to be done about it (do you want your money back, a new product, or do you want it repaired)?


Special notes on groceries

  • Grocery products must, by law, show the physical address of the manufacturer on the label. The store management should be able to give you the address of suppliers of imported goods.
  • The consumer should try to retain the offending product or a portion thereof in the original container and contact the store or the manufacturer. The container (can, sachet, skillet, bottle, etc) has valuable manufacturing information essential to a meaningful investigation and to implement corrective actions, where possible. Manufacturers also require this information for the continued monitoring of the quality of their products.