Three fears about complaining you should ignore
If you get poor service from a company, are you likely to complain or cut your losses and move on? In the busy lives we all lead, you may be more tempted to do the latter. In fact, the Ombudsman Services have found that although people say they are less likely to put up with poor service from a company this year than last year, 66 million problems still weren't acted upon.
So, what exactly is it that's putting us off?
Despite growing activism on Facebook and Twitter, the perceived effort of making a complaint still plays a part. Of those surveyed who did not take their complaint to the supplier or a third party, more than four in ten (45%) said it was too much hassle, and over a quarter (28%) said they couldn't be bothered.
Whatever your reasons are for not complaining, we've got an answer for that.
Three complaining fears answered
Fear 1. It's expensive
Independent complaints services, such as the Financial Ombudsman Service, are free although you must make a formal complaint to the company involved before you can use them. After making a formal complaint, if you think the firm's answer is unreasonable, or if you don't hear from them within eight weeks, you have the right to take your complaint further.
9% of people that have had problems with products or services have taken them to one of the ombudsmen schemes operating in the UK. Why don't you join them?
Fear 2. It's time-consuming
Complaining doesn't need to be time-consuming. If a company has a good social media presence, it's not unreasonable to expect you can complain through Facebook or Twitter – which could take just as long as it takes to send the tweet.
The proportion of complaints now raised on Facebook or Twitter has increased to 36%, up 5% from a year ago, according to the figures. This is more than 18 million complaints in total.
If this doesn't work, then a complaints procedure doesn't have to take forever either. Once you know what the procedure is, follow it. After you've done that, it is up to the company to give you a final answer within eight weeks.
The Ombudsman is then there to help you.
If you want to know all about different kinds of ombudsmen and how they can help you, the Citizen's Advice Bureau has a comprehensive guide.
Fear 3. Nothing will change
You won't know this unless you try! With the popularity of social media and review websites, companies are becoming more aware of the impact a poor review can have.
Plus, in 2014-15, the Financial Ombudsman Service resolved 448,387 complaints, with more than nine in ten settled informally according to their Annual Review – reason enough to give it a go.
This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.