The Sunday Blog: Why you should complain

6th April 2014

I can’t remember how well I documented my Holly Vs Jack Wills story on Twitter, but it was an epic battle between little old me and a popular British clothing brand that ended with me winning, big style. I want to share it with you here.

First things first, having worked in the retail and customer service industry, I believe that if you have a problem with a good or service you should complain. If you receive bad service or purchase a product that you are not entirely satisfied with you have a duty to complain.

Why? Well, a business will never learn from its mistakes if it believes it has made none. If you make them aware then they can use this knowledge to improve their business, so that next time you will (hopefully) have a better experience. And don’t ever be afraid to let a business know that if you don’t get back some recognition from your complaint (a refund or a gesture of good will) that you will no longer be a customer of theirs. Believe me, you and your money are worth a lot to a business. It’s their job to make you stay a customer with them.

I purchased a hoodie after Christmas last year from Jack Wills in the winter sale. Even though it was on sale it was still £40. For this you would expect a quality product. However, after just a few times of wearing the hoodie I noticed the material had become tatty and had started to lose its colour. I hadn’t even washed it!

As the months went by I thought about how disappointed I was with the product and I finally decided to complain to the company via email. I soon received an email back saying that they had forwarded the images of the hoodie I had attached to the quality control department.

Days later, at 9pm at night I received another email from the company that simply read:

“Give a shit.”

I was shocked. It had come from their system and I instantly assumed a member of their staff had made a terrible and cruel mistake. I was upset by the message as I received it on the evening of the day I went to see the surgeon in Oxford. I had enough crap for one day already without this.

The next day I received an email from the manager of the customer service department. He seemed like a nice guy and genuinely seemed sorry about the email I had received. He told me that their emails had been hacked. I struggle to believe this, even now. Who’d hack into their emails just to send me an email like this. No one else apparently had any issues, so I was just targeted. He offered me my money back for the hoodie and said he wanted to do something to apologise for the email. I told him I didn’t want vouchers for their store because my experience over the last few days had been awful (and I still believe it was a member of their staff who sent the email). He took my address and told me he’d think of something to do.

So yesterday morning, while I was still in bed, the postman turned up. Tyrone went down to get what ever was being delivered (as we went expecting anything). To my surprise it was a huge parcel from Jack Wills. Inside was a letter of apology and two items from their store. There was a huge fleece throw (worth like £50) and a set of noise cancelling headphones. I was completely shocked! It was a nice treat that I wasn’t expecting. The headphones are particularly going to be useful when they start constructing a new building right outside my window [1. I’m still annoyed and upset about this but I’m coping.]

The lesson to take away from this is that you should always complain if something isn’t good enough or you receive terrible service. It’s not just to help a business but there’s a good chance you will gain from it personally.

As for Jack Wills, well, you can make up your own minds on how you feel about them as a company. Their clothes aren’t worth the money but they do have great customer service when they aren’t swearing at you. 😛


On a side note, I had a pretty good week. Despite the bad news I received on Thursday, things have been good. I went to see Captain America 2 on Monday with Tyrone, I had my last lecture of the year on Wednesday, we had pizza on Wednesday evening with my friend Darren, I met my friend Sharon for coffee yesterday, and I’ve received some great marks back from coursework (90% and 70% which means two 1st grades!).

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  1. Cat

    Good for you for giving them feedback! I think that’s better to do than just stay quiet. Sometimes they don’t know about the bad service until someone brings it up.

    I would be shocked if I got an email like that too. It’s definitely not something I’d expect from a company. I’m glad the manager tried to make it up to you by sending you things. The fleece throw and headphones look nice!

    I’m glad you’re having a good week too 😀

  2. Oh congratulations on that! I guess it’s a shame your hoodie faded so quickly, but they really did try and make it up to you! I wonder who wrote the Give A Shit message rude!

    The new building is crap. Everywhere you look in Liverpool all you get is nice places and views being spoilt by student accommodation. I really struggle to believe more student accommodation is needed to be honest! New sites have been built on London Rd and Cornwallis Street and all over the place! I’m moving house now, to Temple Street, and finding a flat that wasn’t for students was difficult! Hope the headphones do block out the noise for you!

  3. Elena

    I am sorry to hear about your hip and the student accommodation they are building. Bad things always happen in pairs (as my mum always says.) I hope you can get mobility and disability help and physiotherapy. And it sucks with the student accommondations, there should be like a law of “telling your neighbors” about that sort of stuff. And not just those who lived there the moment it was settled. Construction work is so annoying and noisy :-/

    And I saw your Jack Wills post on facebook. The mail they sent you was so unprofessional, and I also have a hard time believing that it was not sent by a member of the staff. However I’m happy they sent you that package and to see that they at least were apologetic! I am personally really bad at complaining, and I need to get better at it.