- First to deal with the matter amicably and as soon as possible, particularly if it is something that can be rectified, like your make up from a beautician!
- Quote the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 if your provider cancels a booking. Under this Act you are legally entitled to a full refund of any deposit and redress for organising another supplier possibly at very short notice.
- Quote the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 if items are not of satisfactory quality, not fit for purpose, or are not as described. They should last a reasonable length of time, a cake lasting only two days is a breach!
- Quote the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 if you have not received services "carried out with reasonable skill and care". A hairdresser has curled your hair when you asked for it straight or the photographs are blurred, for example.
- Take photographic evidence of anything you are not happy with, for example, if you’ve had wine delivered and bottles are smashed or balloons aren’t blown up properly!
- Complain at the time. If you accept anything, such as cakes, ensure it is fully understood that you are not satisfied with the goods. If you accept then you cannot expect a full refund.
- If you cannot settle the matter amicably, put the complaint in writing detailing the issues and saying what you want to put the matter right and what you will do if this does not happen.
- If you do not gain the refund and redress to which you feel you are entitled, then consider going to the Small Claims Court. Bear in mind you will have to pay a court fee and you may not win your case or get your money back.
Thanks to Helen Dewdney aka The Complaining Cow author of Amazon consumer guide bestseller How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results! for sharing these tips.