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How to make a complaint about a bouncer

Updated March 18, 2017

At a bar or nightclub, the bouncer is entrusted with an enormous amount of responsibility. Not only do bouncers keep the peace and maintain order, but they are also the first line of defence when it comes to legal compliance. Age restrictions, would-be patrons' intoxication levels and fire code regulations are all things that they regularly consider. However, there are times when they aggressively expand their roles to the point where you feel that you are treated unfairly. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that your complaint will be heard.

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Assess the details of the situation. The more specific you are in your account of the disputed event and the result you're seeking to obtain, the more legitimate your complaint will appear. Rest assured, the bouncer will have his own side of the story, and there is a good chance that his employer will side with him, especially if you were drinking alcohol. Be sure that you are lucid and articulate for maximum credibility.

Speak with the bouncer's supervisor. This can be tricky if you have been thrown out, for obvious reasons, but if you are polite and diplomatic, it is worth a shot. More likely than not, however, you will have to come back the next day, or make a phone call.

Use a calm, measured and polite tone when complaining. The angrier and more belligerent you are, the less likely it is that the supervisor will take your complaint seriously. It also helps to employ a little empathy at this point. For example: "I understand that it was very busy and that there were a lot of unruly people, but ..."

Take your complaint to the next level if you feel that the situation is still unresolved. Exactly how you go about it depends on the nature of the establishment. For instance, if your negative experience occurred at a national, franchised chain, you could file a written complaint with its corporate office. If you are complaining about a smaller business, you could contact the Better Business Bureau.

Warning

Make your safety a priority. Feel free to speak up politely about a disagreement, but if the bouncer still disagrees with you, don't persist. Many of them believe they are within their rights to resort to physical violence.

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About the Author

Dave Stanley has covered sports, music and hard news since 2000. He has been published on CBSSports.com and various other websites. Stanley is also a feature writer for "WhatsUp!" magazine in Bellingham, Wash. He studied journalism at the University of Memphis.

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