Not all faux pas are created equal. As consumers, we’re conditioned to expect a certain level of service when we hand over our hard-earned money, and rightly so – after all, we’re the most important link in the commerce chain.
While getting annoyed when our favourite business drops the ball is okay, perhaps take a moment before unleashing those Twitter fingers. Perhaps, just maybe, you can let some things slide.
Check out our list of 10 things that may not be worth complaining about the next time you write a review.
1. Product Availability 👠
For fast food connoisseurs across the globe, 2022 will forever be remembered as the “Year of the Chicken Nuggets Shortage”. From early 2022, retailers across Western Europe, especially, continue to run out of chicken nuggets and chicken tenders as global supply chains continue to deal with Omicron-inspired disruptions.
This is a classic example of when you should probably consider an alternative option. There are many reasons you may not be able to enjoy your nuggets or get that sweet pair of heels in the colour you prefer, but often, none of those reasons is because of the store staff, call centre agents, waitrons, or community managers.
Remember that no one wants their store fully stocked more than the business itself – after all, the more inventory, the more sales. If something’s out of stock, there’s usually a good reason for it. Be cool. Put your name on the list. Try another store. Order something different.
2. When It’s Your Fault ❌
Perhaps you took the afternoon off work to urgently visit a specific store, only to realise when you got there that they were closed during lunchtime for religious reasons.
Of course, it’s natural to be frustrated when things don’t go our way, but whose fault is it, really, that you didn’t do your homework? Not checking relevant information and policies does not warrant a social media rant.
Didn’t phone ahead to check if they were open? Forgot to book a table? Perhaps did not read the instructions or the fine print? You’ve officially lost your right to complain*.
*Within reason, of course.
3. Newbie Staff Members 🛎️
We all started somewhere. Think back to your first job…remember just how grateful you were when you inevitably dropped the ball and that kind manager or customer cut you a little slack?
Be patient when newbies screw up. Laugh it off. Your gracious approach is going to build their confidence and, ultimately, their level of service. #WinWin.
4. Personal Taste 🍽️
Didn’t like the décor, music, or menu options? Tough cookies. Unless you have a reasonable, specific complaint, such as cleanliness or service levels, it’s perhaps a touch self-indulgent to complain about the ‘vibe’. Businesses often have a particular ambience and clientele in mind when designing their customer experience.
And expecting Big Macs at a sushi joint simply isn’t a valid position.
5. The Clientele 👶
Ditto for your fellow patrons. Unless they’re being dangerous, rude or offensive, they have just as much right to be there as you. If, for example, you’re not a big fan of noisy kids, perhaps find a restaurant that doesn’t cater to families or children.
6. Uncontrollable Situations 🌩️
Eskom. Weather. Coronavirus. Protest action. Global supply chain disruptions (we’re looking at you, Russia!).
As people, professionals and members of a larger community, we all get that some things are out of our control. If the power’s out or suppliers aren’t delivering, complaining will get you precisely nowhere
7. Slower Service on a Busy Day ⏲️
Sometimes businesses will experience a busy day and, just like the rest of us, struggle to keep up. Unless you can spot the shop assistant playing Candy Crush behind the till or your waitron is just Friday-in-Cape-Town chill, it’s a total jerk move to go off on an entitled rant.
Consider waiting your turn like everyone else. Harassing the poor store clerks doing their best to get through the rush isn’t a good look, Karen.
8. You’re Having a Bad Day 😡
We’ve all been there before. Someone’s having a bad day, and they feel perfectly entitled to take it out on you.
After office flu, bad days are the single most contagious malady around. Don’t nitpick customer service because your boss was mean to you that morning. The world doesn’t need more bad energy, and it’s not a business’s responsibility to help you mind your manners.
9. Typos 🖋️
If you’re dealing with a brand online, try and ignore the odd typo or grammatical error. You’re not going to look back fondly on all of the times you obnoxiously taught some poor, overworked community manager the difference between its and it’s.
1o. Language and Cultural Differences 🌈
One of the things that make South Africa so awesome is the amazing diversity we get to experience every day. With 12 official languages and myriad cultures, traditions and backgrounds, the occasional communications difficulties are part of the South African experience.
Before you unleash unnecessary vitriol towards some poor store clerk or receptionist, try communicating in your third or fourth language without making occasional mistakes. Remember, appreciating and celebrating our differences is key to this great South African experiment.
Do Good, Feel Good ⭐
We hope that you’re feeling slightly more chill. Science says that complaining too much rewires your brain for negativity, and that’s the last thing we need more of.
Had an awesome experience with a business this week? Leave a glowing review over at Hellopeter.com. It’ll brighten your day and help a lucky business improve, all while helping your fellow South Africans make informed decisions.
Doing good’s never been easier!