Loose Change is a series of blogposts by members of the UK Money Blogger community where they let loose on a financial issue important to them.
This week Scott from The Grumpy Git shares his frustration that people do not know how to complain effectively and seek redress by reinforcing their consumer rights
Complaining for me is all about principles and justice.
I have had a lifetime of bad and unique experiences that I have been able to successfully resolve through sheer tenacity and sticking to my guns. I turned that in to a book to help others do the same and I have saved consumers hundreds of thousands of pounds ever since.
Consumers have rights and the majority of firms appear to go out of their way to baffle their customers with legalese jargon.
This leads me to the question, “Why don’t people complain?”
They are reluctant to make a fuss
The British are reluctant to complain and have been renowned to take the ‘stiff upper lip’ approach.
Nothing will be done about it / it won’t change anything
This is true if you don’t say anything! However, if it’s done right you may well make a difference and it is power in numbers. Firms would have to raise their game if more people actively spoke up, asserted their consumer rights and raised awareness of various deficiencies.
Complaining is seen as being negative
I think the opposite if it’s done right. If you complain effectively, you are not only trying to remedy a complaint but you are raising awareness with the retailer so they can put things right for you and others.
By raising awareness with the retailer, you are flagging deficiencies and shining a spotlight on issues within their organisation that they may not be aware of. You are giving them the opportunity to raise standards, improve their offering and in turn improve customer service, loyalty and profits.
Isn’t that a good thing?
Consumers do not know their legal rights
This is a big problem and one that retailers play on with various fob-offs by baffling consumers with legalese jargon. Your legal rights give you better cover than any warranty.
Firms need to be more transparent and I think it is a training issue with staff. The relentless pursuit of profits and cutbacks has driven standards down with some retailers actively trying to fob customers off with lies and legalese jargon to frustrate legitimate complaints.
Local authorities are no better when it comes to pothole claims.
So, start complaining!
I am not talking about complaining for the sake of it and I can’t advocate the compensation culture that prevails nowadays. I am simply encouraging you to make a stand against rogue outfits and shoddy service and get things put right not just for yourself, but for everyone else.
We put up with any old rubbish in this country without piping up and there are too many nodding dogs in this world that won’t do what I do and hold people and firms to account for their actions.