VERITY LUSH: Complaining is tricky, but sometimes you just have to

As a nation, do we complain too much? Or do we moan about the wrong things '“ such as the weather '“ and keep our mouths shut about things such as bad service, all because of our ingrained British politeness?

Saturday, 7th January 2017, 6:01 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 1:03 pm
Verity's friends have gone on leg-shaving strike

I once had a boss who would never complain in a store where there was bad service. Instead, he would vote with his feet and never spend his money there again.

But is it perhaps better to both not visit again and have a moan – after all, if you say nothing, how does anyone know that improvement is needed?

Complaining is tricky because we don’t want to be seen as the moaner, but sometimes we simply have to.

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As a parent and teacher, I find it incredibly hard to complain to my children’s school if I am unhappy.

That said, whenever I have complained – with faults that are recognised by all of the parents I know – no improvements are made anyway.

In fact, when my eldest child had approximately 12 different teachers in a term last year, I was told that if I wanted my child to make expected progress, then I’d have to ‘teach them myself at home’.

It’s different perhaps if you’re paying for a service.

For example, your children may be at private school.

In this case, I imagine complaints are dealt with differently.

Similarly, if you are paying for something in a shop and you are exchanging your hard-earned cash for it, then you expect a certain level of service.

My family and I visited Pizza Express in Chichester recently and they had sold out of five of the items we asked for.

The waiting time was ridiculous and when the children’s desserts finally materialised they were missing the babycino.

The dessert itself was not as advertised and consisted instead of a scraping of Betty Crocker chocolate frosting in a plastic cup on the side.

No apology was forthcoming from management, who simply reported that it was ‘busy’ when I finally complained.

So, instead, I thought I’d vote with my words – and withhold custom myself in future.


Tesco has reduced the cost of razors because of ‘sexist pricing’.

It transpires that women’s razors were double the cost of male equivalents.

Given the amount of beard on offer amongst menfolk at present, I am shocked to hear that Gillette are still in business.

I’d have thought the past couple of years would have proved to be a bit of a dry spell.

Add to this the fact that all of my female friends go on a leg-shaving strike between September and May and I’m thinking that Gillette may as well become like Peppa Pig World and simply shut up shop throughout the winter months.

Perhaps the new pricing will help to coax our calves out of forestation a season early.


As I sit and write this column, I shall turn 40 tomorrow.

I bet you those people at The News have updated that in my little biog by now. I’d prefer ‘21’ though.

I don’t actually mind being 40, I am just astounded at how fast it’s come about.

I remember stringing up balloons for my mother’s 40th birthday, and now, here I am the same age.

They used to say that life began at 40, but I’m assuming that was just a bit of false cheer.

Given that my hips are falling apart, I groan when I get off the sofa and I really wouldn’t want to laugh too hard whilst trampolining, I am definitely thinking life began 40 years ago and is simply continuing, just with more regular doses of ibuprofen.