1. ITV Report

Britons more likely to complain than five years ago

People are more likely to complain when buying goods and services than they were five years ago Photo: David Thompson/PA Archive

A new report shows the complaints culture is growing in the UK with people more likely to complain than they were five years ago.

According to the Institute of Customer Service, staff attitudes and competence provide the most cause for complaint, with leisure and public service sectors receiving the most staff elated complaints.

UK consumers face significantly less problems when buying goods and services than five years ago, but in spite of this, are more likely to complain.

The report, Handle with Care, is based on the findings of over 3000 consumer responses from the UK Customer Satisfaction Index.

Our research suggests that customers are most satisfied when complaints are dealt with immediately.

As a result, organisations need to ensure that all customer contacts are handled consistently well, and that customers are not passed from pillar to post.

– Jo Causon, Chief Executive of the Institute of Customer Service
  • People-related issues like staff attitude and competence cause the majority (62%) of problems eliciting a complaint
  • The quality or reliability of goods and services accounts for a third (34%) of complaints

In contrast:

  • Twenty-four per cent of customers who recently experienced a problem did not make a complaint about it
  • The sector experiencing the highest proportion of silent sufferers is the transport sector, where 37% of customers recently facing a problem did not complain, followed by leisure (34%) and the public sector (local and national) (28%)