On the whole - Kiwi's are reluctant to complain, so here's a few tips to get you started and to get better results.
The basic premise is: Am I right? Can I prove it? Who do I tell?
1. If it is a consumer complaint - take your product and the receipt back to the retailer. They should help you out.
In some cases it may be a manufacturing problem - and you may need to deal with the supplier. Failing that - you can always file a claim in the Disputes Tribunal.
2. Tenancy and housing problems can be looked at by the Tenancy Tribunal . There is a lot of information and draft letters on their website and it is easy to use.
3. Banking problems can normally be sorted by ringing/going to your own bank - but there is always the banking ombudsman if you can't get a resolution.
4. If you are complaining about service - like in a restaurant - do it promptly, so that they have a chance to put it right and you get a better experience. It is tricky when complaints are face to face - but keep your cool and explain what the problem is....give the complaint sandwich a go.
The complaint sandwich
Psychologist Sara Chatwin recommends the complaint sandwich.
The first piece of bread is giving the person a heads up that you're going to complain.
The filling is describing what it is that has happened and why you're not happy and the bottom layer is saying something positive - like thanking them for listening and addressing your concerns.
5. Put things in writing - either a letter or email and follow it up with a phone call. There are some great letter templates on the internet to get you started. Have a look at Consumer NZ's website.
And remember deal with any dispute quickly.
Your local Community Law Centre is a great resource - they are happy to help with any issues. And your local Citizens Advice Bureau has a wealth of knowledge and advice.
You can go to these places in person or ring.