Father’s Day gift idea: Kids get their dads ‘the gift of moaning’
From messy binmen to late deliveries, unique complaints website gives dads (mums, or anybody) the chance to get their own back
British dads are the biggest moaners in the world, and their children will do just about anything for a bit of peace and quiet.
According to the 1750 13-18 year-olds surveyed by the unique Avenge.co.uk complaint letter-writing service, fathers will complain about anything from queues in the supermarket to being short-changed in the pub, but never seem to do anything about it.
Given the chance to buy a voucher guaranteeing their dad a genuine and unique letter of complaint about something that annoyed had them, many of the teens surveyed said they’d snap one up as a Father’s Day present if it meant ten minutes’ silence.
“You can’t deny that Britain is a nation of moaners,” said Avenge.co.uk spokesman Mark Hall, “And from what we’ve heard, our nation’s dads are the top of the Premier League. Our mission is to direct their fury in the right direction and give everybody else a bit of peace.”
Teenagers surveyed by Avenge.co.uk said that their dads complained about a wide range of subjects, often to no avail. Among the domestic whines heard by British kids were:
• Binmen leaving a trail of rubbish up the road
• Bags of dog mess left lying round the park
• Long queues in the supermarket during the weekend shop
• Getting overcharged in shops or at the pub
• Having to wait over an hour for a pizza delivery
• Roadworks making them late for work (or getting home again)
And at the more unusual end of the scale:
• “Someone put a dead badger in our recycling bin”
• “Stuck in a traffic jam because of a civil war re-enactment”
• “Couldn’t buy beer at the supermarket because he didn’t have ID. He’s 42”
• “Moaned for a week about a poor quality cream tea at the seaside”
Unfortunately, Avenge.co.uk says, instead of directing their ire at the cause of their problems, most dads take it out on their long-suffering families who’ve heard it all before.
More than three-quarters of the kids questioned said that their dads wouldn’t actually follow up their complaints with any concrete action. Two-thirds said that they’d happily pay someone to do their dad’s complaining for them if it meant he’d be quiet for a few minutes.
“That’s where Avenge.co.uk comes in,” says Hall. “For a reasonable fee, people get the chance to send an exquisitely-crafted letter of complaint to get it off their chest – all without having to leave their comfy chair.
“Not only that, people can buy their friends and relatives the gift of moaning through an Avenge gift voucher that can be redeemed against our letter-writing service.”
Avenge.co.uk says their bespoke letter-writing service can be used to send complaints to companies, officials or even to friends and family. Whether to get results, or to raise a laugh, Avenge hopes to put the fun back into moaning.
“And if it stops Dad’s moaning – even just for Father’s Day – that’s a bonus,” says Hall.
MaaS ‘Moaning as a Service’ company launches
Want a whinge? Now you can do it all online
A new company has launched that allows users to send out tailored letters of complaint to anybody or anything that gets on their nerves.
Avenge.co.uk, the brainchild of company owner Mark Hall, means that people can create and send their moans as a snail mail letter to friends, businesses and even the train franchise that’s made them late for work again.
Working on the premise that the average Brit is far too polite to complain, Avenge.co.uk sweeps that all away by using POIP protocol working behind an easy-to-use customer interface that means customers can get their misery off their chest in less than two minutes.
“You’ve heard of ‘software as a service’,” Avenger founder Mark Hall says, “this is ‘moaning as a service.”
Explaining the thinking behind the site, the Yorkshire-based businessman said: “We found that the huge majority of people just don’t have the time, confidence, or letter-writing skills to put their words on paper when they’ve got a complaint to make.
“The biggest challenge, will be changing the mindset of the common moaner, us Brits like to moan, but rarely do anything about it!”
“Our interface means that most users will only need a couple of minutes to create a real-life letter that addresses their problems going out in the mail.”
“Our development team thought about templates, it just didn’t seem to work,” Halls says. “The end product can’t look computer generated, otherwise it’ll just go straight into the bin, and nobody’s happy.” “Every letter is handcrafted by an in house expert”
Avenge say the new service is less about wringing compensation out of poorly-performing companies (although that will be a by-product for some users), but more about letting people have their say and having their voices heard.
“You can send a light-hearted moan to friends or family about their annoying habits or their louds dogs,” Avenge’s Mark Hall said, “But it’s also about getting an apology for a wrong parking ticket or a rude waiter. We’re trying to make people happy by sorting out their minor life problems.
“It’s all about having a bit of fun while turning the tables on something that vexes you,” said Hall, “One of our people says it’s like ‘Moonpig for moaners’, and that’s an idea that’s stuck as we built the site.”
‘Moonpig for moaners’ service launches
New website puts the fun back into getting your own back on rip-off Britain
Britons are terrible at complaining over anything from noisy neighbours to bad service in shops, and they’re missing out having their problems sorted, as well as losing out on apologies and possible refunds or compensation.
That’s the opinion of a new website that hopes to make complaining and having your say a doddle. Whether it’s local grievances such as barking dogs, or getting ripped-off on car repairs, Avenge.co.uk say they’ve got the ammo to put a smile back on your face.
The easy-to-use website lets people have their say about the things that upset them, with the aim of getting apologies, along with the possibility of a refund or compensation if it’s deserved.
“I’ve known people who have put up with all kinds of ridiculous situations simply because they thought complaining was too much trouble,” said company founder Mark Hall, “and it’s for these people that we set up Avenge.co.uk. We’re going to turn the tables so the ripped-off consumers of the UK get to have their say at last.”
The company found that most British people don’t complain about things simply because they “don’t want to cause trouble”. Other excuses for not complaining include:
• Not the type to complain
• Feel guilty about complaining
• Not confident enough to write a letter
• Thought it not worth the effort
• Thought their complaint would be ignored
“We’ve swept away those barriers to having a moan,” said Mark, “Even if you’re not a confident letter writer, we’ll do the hard work for you and make sure your moan gets the attention it deserves.”
Hall says their point-and-click service can help get apologies and redress for all kinds of everyday problems:
• Friends or family getting you down – send them a light-hearted whinge and be happy.
• If a traffic warden is rude to you – ask them to apologise with a smile.
• If your train is late – turn you ticket back into cash.
• If a shop rips you off – get them to say sorry and offer redress.
Avenge is convinced that people get unduly stressed carrying complaints around with them, and most problems can be solved simply by airing your views to the source of the trouble.
The new website lets people do this in the easiest way possible, all personally tailored to make sure that the right people get the right tone of complaint.
“It’s ‘Moonpig for moaners’,” says Mark, “And you can have fun customising your complaint however you like. Barking dogs, the bin men leaving a trail of litter up your street, the waiter in a restaurant putting his thumb in your meal – we’ve got it all covered.
“We’ll even help you complain about the weather or the colour of the grass at the local park if that’s what really gets your goat,” he says.
Hall is convinced of the power of a good letter of complaint to get a bit of anger off your chest. It’s about putting your point across and hoping for an apology, he says, and everybody should complain every once in a while.
“We’re not only going to make complaining easy, we’re going to make it fun as well.”
“Moaning’s not a bad thing. It’s an art and it’s time we as a nation celebrated it.”
Funny and brilliant car rental complaint letter
The following letter was written by our very own famous Alistair Coleman and author of the award-winning Scary Duck Blog
First, a bit of back-story. I hired a car from [Useless Workshy Car Rental Company], and it was RUBBISH. During the week I had it, I had smoke billowing from under the bonnet, and the brakes failed on me, and I drove around the south of England in a jelly-mould with only three hub caps.
Sadly, my letter of complaint only drew a half-arsed technical explanation from a chap we shall call Simon, with the offer of ten per cent off my NEXT rental with the company. Not good enough. Time to deploy the twin weapons of SARCASM, TEH LULZ and the INTERNETS. That’s three weapons. Here we go…
Can I call you Simon? I hope you don’t mind me being familiar with you, but this is going to be a bit of an epic, and by the time we’ve reached the end of this saga, it’ll be like we’ve known each other for years.
I refer to our rapidly expanding correspondence regarding my hire of your company’s Ford Ka (Reg No: AR53HOL, known hereafter as “The Wreck”) between 12-19 June. You may remember that the vehicle suffered from a number of technical and cosmetic faults which made my week with The Wreck less than enjoyable. These included:
Missing hub cap at the time of hire: Unforgivable on a car that is supposed to show your company in the best light. I checked all the gutters and ditches between Weymouth and Reading but was, alas, unable to find a suitable replacement. When I got The Wreck home on the first Saturday, my charming wife laughed at it, panicked at what the neighbours might think, and made me hide it under a sheet.
Missing oil filler cap: Resulting in billowing smoke at Winchester Services, leaving little old ladies fleeing running away muttering something about the Blitz; lorry drivers standing by with fire extinguishers; and a run on marshmallows-on-sticks in the service station shop. That wasn’t the best start to the week, I can tell you for nothing, Simon. And my mood wasn’t helped by the £17.98 I had to shell out for the two litres of the second-cheapest engine oil.
Malfunctioning brakes: You know that hairpin turn on the hill coming down into Weymouth? I bet you’ve never driven it, knuckles white against the steering wheel, screaming “AAAAARGH! NO BRAKES!” at a red-faced, uncomprehending cyclist sweating like a transvestite in Marks and Spencer, as The Wreck bore down on him. I missed. (Actually, I made that last bit up, but, hey, it got your attention)
Radio not working: I’ll come clean, Simon. I’m on pills for my nerves, and there’s nothing worse when you’re a raving madman than being trapped in The Wreck for a whole week listening to your own internal dialogue. This is particularly true when the bulk of the conversation comprises the words “AAAAARGH!” and “NO BRAKES!” as I hurtle onwards to an uncertain fate.
Happily, I avoided going stark, raving bonkers by the simple game of counting how many people fled for their very lives at the sound of The Wreck’s horrible, grinding brakes in a five mile stretch, then trying to beat that record. But I lost count almost immediately.
So, all of The Wreck’s faults aside, while I certainly didn’t expect to rent this:
I would have been more than happy to receive a reasonably good quality example of this:
Instead, I was driving around the south of England in one of these:
To borrow a line from those old “History Today” sketches: “See that battered old roller skate? The one with only three wheels someone’s just pulled out of a swamp? That’s your car, that is.” A car constructed from tinfoil, sticky tape and the tormented souls of the dead.
Although, to be honest, a time machine wouldn’t be such a bad idea. I could get myself next week’s Euro Millions numbers, rub red hot chilli powder into the gusset of Adolf Hitler’s underpants, before going back to tell my past self to stop being a plank and hire a car from one of your local competitors.
I’ve read and digested your explanation, and – frankly – I’m hardly punching the air at the generosity of your offer of recompense. I’m not interested in theories of how the brakes failed – the fact is that I was hired a car that was a danger to myself, pedestrians and other road users, and I’m not in the business of killing other people completely TO DEATH.
A ten per cent discount against my next rental with your company? As the situation stands, that’s going to be ten per cent of the square root of naff all, isn’t it?
How about – and here’s a bit of your so-called out-of-the-box thinking, Simon – a discount against THIS rental with your company? I believe, in business circles, it is known as a “refund”.
You might want to apply this new-fangled “refund” concept on the oil which I bought to save The Wreck from exploding on the M3 in the kind of fireball you only ever see on Top Gear when they blow up a caravan. You will note from the receipts I sent with my previous letter that the parched, smoking engine actually demanded two litres, but you have only paid me for one, and I’m still £8.99 down on that front. Sort that one out, if that’s the very least you do.
You might – from this letter – assume I’m angry with your company, turning a vile shade of green and hurling US Army tanks at passing helicopters whilst screaming “HULK SMASH!” as passers-by. If I’m honest, I’m not, mostly because I’m on these pills for my nerves. I’m just exasperated at the Premier League muppetry that left me with a fourth-rate vehicle followed by fifth-rate service, and I’m simply asking you to do the right thing.
As the pop world’s poor, ill Cheryl Cole might say in the circumstances: “I’m going to fight, fight, fight, fight, fight for this refund”, so I’m still going to ask you for my money back, because It’s a refund worth fighting for.
See? That wasn’t so bad, was it? Looking forward to your reply.
Your newest best pal,