It Pays to Complain

Around about 3 years ago, the house was redecorated and after only a relatively short time, I was sure that some of the glossed areas looked yellow but put this down to my imagination. Then, a couple of weeks agao, Watchdog did a piece on Dulux Brilliant White Gloss.Loft hatchBasically, for environmental reasons, manufacturers of gloss paint had to change the formula and remove potentially harmful oils. To maintain the liquidity of the gloss, an agent was added to the gloss and it’s this that has caused the yellowing.

I popped to the shed and found the tin of gloss I had used- it was Dulux Brilliant White Gloss and was from around the time when the dodgy paint was being sold. I took a photo of the tin of paint and of the loft hatch in my house, as it’s the loft hatch that appears to be the most yellowed, and sent an email to, with the photos attached and an explanation of my problem.

I hadn’t received a reply after a few days, so I sent a second email to and copied in (which was the only contact email address I could find on the Dulux website). Within a couple of hours, I received the following reply:


“Thank you for your recent contact from which I was truly sorry to hear of the problems you have experienced whilst using our product.

All solvent based coatings are prone to discolouration as it is characteristic of a solvent based finish, areas with limited/no natural sunlight or areas exposed to higher temperatures will accelerate this and makes it unavoidable e.g. inside cupboards, wardrobes, boiler rooms, rooms with no windows, behind furniture, radiators etc.

As you may or may not know the whole paint industry have been bound by a legal obligation and have had to adhere to a legislation set by the EU, this stated that the industry had to reduce solvent based coatings by 20-25% in solvent content. This has made many changes i.e. we are no longer able to advise customers to add white spirit to products as this will be over the VOC limit. Since we have reduced the solvent content it has resulted in these coatings not being as resistant to discoloration as what it was.

Following customer feedback, we have reformulated the affected products to be more resistant to discolouration, whilst adhering to the EU directive. Akzonobel remain committed to manufacturing high quality products for our customers.

I understand your disappointment; therefore, I am happy to post you a Dulux Decorative Paint Voucher for 5 litres of Dulux Quick Drying Gloss plus a further 10ltrs of Dulux Endurance Matt as a contribution towards your future decorating. Please note this voucher is valid for 6 months and will expire on the date stated on the voucher this voucher can be redeemed in most DIY stores.

Can you please confirm your address details so I can have this posted to you? Please take care to include the history of our email correspondence in your reply to avoid any confusion and to ensure these are sent to you in a prompt manner.

As a company we do pride ourselves on being the best in our industry so making sure our customers are cared for is important to us and I hope this letter helps to restore your good faith in Dulux.

Kind regards”


I’ve replied with my address details and am now awaiting my vouchers. I don’t know if the photos I sent were necessary but I’m happy with the outcome. I’m fairly confident that I could have pushed for a bit more, but I’m not planning on redecorating any time soon so it would be pointless having tins of paint sitting around. It definitely pays to complain.

4 Replies to “It Pays to Complain”

  1. Thank for advice Ninja. I have just glossed a door with Dulux Brilliant White Gloss and it is nowhere near White its dried like a mucky greyish purple colour. I will have too buy more gloss now and it will take a few coats. I have complained. Let you know of the outcome

    1. Please do let me know the outcome. It’s worth noting that I bought the crap paint in around 2010 and complained in 2012, when I saw something about it on Watchdog. You may not have any luck, but it’s always worth a go!

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