How To Gripe Legally

Yes, there are MANY things in this world to gripe about, and just about all of them can make your blood boil.

Be  nice  careful

While your blood may be boiling, you have to be very careful about what you say about any other person, business, or entity whose integrity or reputation you may be damaging. Staying cool will also help to get the results you are looking for.

While it is OK for anyone to offer verifiable facts, or leave their OPINION and state it as such, it is not OK to make false accusations, lie about, slander, defame or be libel against any person, business, or other entity (that can have legal representation – you can say all you want about ghosts and aliens, for now).

STATE THE FACTS in chronological order – that way everyone can follow along easily, and leave their two cents.

In many cases, the simple formality of posting a factual gripe or complaint on our website, for all the world to see, can add seriousness and exposure to the situation that will hopefully bring rapid positive results.

How to Write A (Scathing) Gripe, Legally

So, you’re ready to tear somebody a new one…

When writing your gripe or complaint, clearly identify a definite purpose and outcome that you want to achieve, and indicate those ideas clearly in your post.

Stick to the point

  • While it’s easy to start flying off on tangents when your blood is boiling, you have to be courteous, concise, and stick to the point. Do not curse, swear, use obscene language, name-call, make false accusations, lie about, slander, defame or be libel toward the party your gripe is directed at.
  • Clearly identify who or what your complaint or gripe is directed towards or about.
  • State calmly and directly your reason(s) for making the complaint or gripe, and chronologically list all the facts related to it. Make sure your facts are verifiable.
  • Indicate what the other party can or should do to resolve your issue, and specify how long you are willing to wait to have the issue resolved. (Be reasonable.)
  • Respectably explain why your suggestion or request for retribution should be granted (if you made one).

10 Essential Tips to Remember Before Griping

  1. Read all the instructions and help carefully. Doing everything right the first time will help get you results and satifaction quicker, and with less resistance.
  2. Before writing your post, make sure that you have all your facts straight and that your gripe is legitimate.
  3. If there is a lot of information to convey, write your gripe out in a text editor before posting it here, so you and others can review it a few times first. Don’t forget to use a spellchecker, or have someone proofread your gripe. Spelling and grammer mistakes reduce the impact of the gripe.
  4. Try to keep your gripe short and concise by writing short paragraphs. But be sure to provide all important facts including dates or places (for example, when and where you bought the product or received the service), and include any additional relevant information you can (such as the product number or type of service).
  5. Be diplomatic and courteous. No matter how justified your gripe may be, do not allow yourself to become angry, sarcastic, or threatening. Hot heads rarely get results, and oftentimes make the author look childish and unstable.
  6. Try to put yourself in the place of the person your gripe is directed at, and write accordingly.
  7. Include COPIES of any documentation relating to your gripe or complaint. Do not send original documents.
  8. Keep a copy of the gripe/complaint and all related documents for your records.
  9. NOTIFY THE PARTY YOUR GRIPE IS DIRECTED AT OF YOUR POST HERE. Send them a link to your post. Notifying the other party of your posting on the internet will add seriousness to your complaint, and hopefully bring resolve more quickly.
  10. If your gripe does not bring about the results that you hoped for, consider writing another gripe with a firmer tone, or try writing directly to someone higher up in the chain of command.

How to Write a Gripe That Gets Results:

Your goal is to get a result. So, in order to have the subjected person or entity of your gripe be more willing to work with you, start your post with something positive. For example, if you’re griping about a faulty product that you bought, you might start with, “I have been a loyal customer of this store for many years.” Try to mention any other positive aspects of the company or entity, such as the general quality of their products, or low prices, or excellent customer service (if you experienced it), and so forth.

Begin the next paragraph by alluding to the problem. For example, “I understand that companies that offer such a wide range of widgets will occasionally encounter a faulty product.” Then, state your gripe or complaint. (NOTE: If you intend to do more than just gripe and want an issue to be resolved, it is wise to remain calm and courteous. Do not be accusatory or demanding.) After clearly stating your gripe and it’s related facts, indicate a reasonable solution that you would be satisfied with, and within a reasonable time-frame. Only if you fully intend to, you may also want to mention the actions you will take if your complaint is not answered or the issue is not resolved.

In your closing, if you mean it, mention that you would like to; continue to use the company’s products or services, or to continue to be a customer of the store, or a member of the organization, or reader of their magazine. Then, suggest why it is in the other party’s best interest to grant your request: you might mention the importance of maintaining a good reputation or keeping you as a customer, or you might appeal to their sense of justice. In other words, give them a positive reason to want to resolve the concern. As you close your letter, express confidence that your complaint will be taken care of. Finally, thank the company or other entity for handling your complaint.


Read about the legalities of griping online here.