How to complain if something goes wrong online

The internet is everywhere these days, from shopping to accessing information. Even doctors surgeries have started an online appointment booking service. There is not a lot that we do each day that cannot be done or shared online. Most of the time it is great, but every now and again something goes wrong, we have a bad experience, and we need to deal with it in the best way possible.

So what do I do?

Depending on your complaint, then your first point of contact should be the website you are having difficulty with. If you have placed and order that hasn’t arrived for example, hopefully they are responsive, and your problem gets rectified quickly. If you have no joy there, then your next port of call should be who ever you made the payment through, such as an online financial service like PayPal, or your bank or credit card company. Often they can return the money to you, and claim it back from the company you placed your order with.

What if it is something more serious?

Cyber crime and online bullying are often in the news, and if you find yourself a target, then you need to tell someone. Most police departments now have specialist cyber crimes units, and making a police report can start an investigation. If you are unsure if it is a legal problem, contact the police anyway, and they can tell you if you can help. If you feel that a company is breaking the internet code of conduct and the series of rules and regulations they are supposed to be adhering to, then Ofcom, the communications regulator may be able to help you.

The important thing is to make sure you complain, as not doing so if something goes wrong can possibly lead to future or ongoing problems. And a complaint can also stop the same thing happening to someone else.

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