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Brits miss out on £275 as they lack confidence to complain

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The art of complaining is at risk of dying out as research shows Brits avoid making complaints, thereby missing out on refunds and replacement items to the tune of £275.

More than 15 million Brits routinely miss out on getting their money back, a replacement product or getting an issue sorted as they lack the confidence to make an effective complaint.

Research from the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), revealed that three quarters of consumers avoid making complaints and it’s the younger generation that is the least likely to speak up to get a problem resolved.

Less than half (46%) of 16-24 year olds would complain about bad service in a restaurant (versus 71% of over 55s) and they’re more likely to stew on an issue, waiting on average over a week to complain. In comparison, over 55s take 2.5 days to speak up.

For younger people, complaining ‘causes a scene’, while for their parents’ generation, it’s associated with empowerment. Just two in five (44%) under 35s relate complaining to ‘getting a good deal’ versus 68% of over 55s. In contrast, more than a quarter (27%) associate it with ‘awkwardness’, compared to just 11% of over 55s.

But people’s top regret about not complaining is how it affected them emotionally (54%).

The FCA found these are the top 10 things people want to complain about but don’t:

  1. People who queue jump
  2. A poor meal when eating out
  3. Being ignored by a shop assistant
  4. A parcel arriving late
  5. Travel delays
  6. Poor service in a shop
  7. Smoking in a public place
  8. Someone playing loud music on public transport
  9. People who take up extra space on public transport
  10. A bad haircut.

The research comes as the FCA with the help of Gok Wan and Fred Sirieix, highlights the 29 August 2019 deadline to make PPI complaints.

Consumer confidence champion, Gok Wan, said“As a nation we tend to shy away from sticking up for ourselves, even when we feel we’ve been given a raw deal. But, just like fashion, complaining is all about feeling fearless.

“That’s why I’m supporting the FCA’s PPI Deadline Campaign – to help the UK complain with confidence whether it’s about bad service when shopping to claiming for mis-sold PPI. From complaining in a way you’re comfortable with to keeping your cool, there are loads of ways to get problems solved and your money back.”

Related: See’s How to complain – and win for more information.

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