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What are Brits complaining about?

Written by: Emma Lunn
Resolver has released its half year complaints data from April to September 2021, showing what people complained about after lockdown restrictions started to be relaxed.

The complaints website helped people sort out almost 300,000 complaints and enquiries in the six-month period, with issues regarding travel, leisure and entertainment all rising as people started getting out and about again.

While complaint volumes overall dropped by a quarter compared to the previous period, hundreds of thousands of people still sought help for a vast range of complaints. In 40% of the most complained-about products and services, complaint numbers have increased, in some cases significantly.

Resolver found that the drop in the overall complaint volumes came from just three sectors, online and high street shopping and delivery services. This mirrors the downward trend reported by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) over the same six-month period.

Staycations are driving the complaints in the travel and holiday sector, with increases in hotel complaints (up 125%), theme parks and tourist attractions (up 363%), holiday parks (up 384%) and holiday lettings (up 43%) all linked primarily to UK-based businesses.

Emerging trends, like the difficulty with contacting ticket agencies or getting refunds are highlighted in the data, with complaints increasing to more than 2,600 cases.

Nikki Stopford, Resolver’s chief operating officer, said: “On a first glance at our latest complaints data, it might seem like life is returning to normal and things are improving now restrictions on our lives are lifting. However, a closer look reveals many stories about how society, businesses and the organisations we rely on are coping and adapting to this new world.

“Some sectors are clearly struggling. Consumer complaints are up across the UK travel and leisure industry, even by pre-pandemic standards. And in recent weeks, it’s clear that people are feeling the heat of the energy crisis and our new reliance on digital communications at home for both work and lifestyle.

“There are undoubtedly dark clouds ahead for many people as winter approaches, demand for goods outstrips supply and finances feel the pinch from energy bills to rising inflation costs. So, it’s more important than ever that businesses invest in empowered customer service staff to help solve their customer’s problems – and recognise the key role they play consumer trust and loyalty.”

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