Easy way to make extra $1700 a year
CHRIS Owen proudly describes himself as the UK's "biggest moaner" - and it's lining his pockets.
The father of one, who lives in Buckinghamshire in England, says he makes an average of around $1700 a year just by whingeing about bad service in restaurants, bars and shops.
The 38-year-old told The Sun he realised how lucrative complaining could be three years ago, after he ordered a marble table which was damaged during delivery three separate times.
The table was worth $1168 - but after complaining to company, they gave him an extra $359 for his troubles.
"I spent four Saturdays waiting for a table to be delivered to my house and each time it was dropped during delivery. I knew I was within my rights to complain," the told Sun Online.
The PR director said he soon realised having a moan could pay dividends.
"I don't proactively look for things to complain about, but if I see that something is not right I'll push for compensation," he explained.
"We now compete with my dad to see who can get the most rewards out of bad service."
Since his first complaint, Mr Owen has made around $5212 in total, or more than $1700 a year.
He said in 2015 he made more than $1100 in refunds, freebies and vouchers, but a year later he'd nearly doubled that figure.
He said he got the most bang for his buck by complaining about bad, cold or late food and bad customer service.
For example, he's made around $125 to date just from griping about mayonnaise on burgers.
"I hate mayonnaise. So, I always ask for my sandwich or burger to come without it. It's not an impossible request," he told the publication.
"Most of the time waiters get it wrong, which means I have to send it back to the kitchen and I end up waiting for my food
"When it's time to pay it's then fairly easy to ask for a discount or ask for your meal to be taken out of the bill entirely for the inconvenience and the wait."
A pizza restaurant also gave Mr Owen and three friends a free meal after they took 90 minutes to bring over a jug of water.
They ended up scoffing two desserts each as well as three bottles of wine.
"We ate for $359 in a place where it's genuinely difficult to spend more than $45," he said.
He also often complains about hygiene standards in cafes.
And when a kitchen installation at home melted the junction box it was plugged into, the company ended up not just refunding the original $144 installation charge but also paid out the full $772 for the product.
"Sometimes you need to be very firm with a company. My kitchen could have been burnt to the ground," he said.
"I emailed the firm and copied in the media team from BBC watchdog. The $772 refund came quickly after that.
"It's not always about the extra cash, it's about your safety and how you're treated as a customer."
He urged consumers to be firm but not aggressive when dealing with businesses, as well as knowing their rights, comparing the company with a competitor and refusing to settle when you have a genuine grievance.