Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

"HAVE You Had an Accident That Wasn't Your [...]

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

"HAVE You Had an Accident That Wasn't Your [...]

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES WALKER Complaints champion fights for your rights

"HAVE you had an accident that wasn't your fault? Where there's blame, there's a claim..."

"Are you owed thousands of pounds due to mis-sold PPI...?" Lines like these scream at us from our TVs, radios and magazines. Take them at face value, and you'd be forgiven for thinking that money and compensation is all that the British consumer is after when they complain.

Yet my experience of issues raised via our online issueresolution tool is far more complex than that. Sure, there are plenty of cases where people want - and may well deserve - some sort of monetary compensation, but they'll almost certainly be after some form of apology, too. Then there are those of us who want an apology only, and still others who want to see action taken to sort out the problem they've encountered to ensure the same thing doesn't happen again to themselves or to others.

Of course, the sorts of complaints an individual company will receive depends entirely on the sort of services or goods they offer. The appropriate responses will vary hugely, too.

In short, the world of complaints and how to respond to them is a tricky business for companies, and every complaint is different, but there are certain categories of complaints and general customer service issues that we see more regularly than others via Here are some of the most common, and how you can expect the best companies to respond: The compensation claim: THIS sort of complaint tends to be linked to some sort of legislation and is likely to be part of a groundswell of other complaints in a similar vein. This could be because of a news campaign, a change in the law or a precedentsetting court case.

Whatever the cause, it's likely the best companies will hold their hands up and pay up. This is generally because, whenever there's a large-scale compensation opportunity, solicitors and specialist claims management companies will spring up and force an industry to pay so for them taking the path of least resistance will generally be better in the long run.

The ongoing PPI saga is a classic example of this where banks, with public confidence in them at rock-bottom, were found to have consistently mis-sold payment protection insurance. Another example is flight-delay compensation, where recent court cases have caused a flood of claims against airlines.

The replacement THIS is one of two types of common complaints related to products - if you buy something (whether physically on the high street or online) that subsequently breaks, you are likely to be entitled to a replacement.

This is one of the simplest complaints to resolve, and you should be entitled to expect a swift, efficient response from the best companies.

The service failure ANOTHER very common issue - and potentially more complex to resolve - is some sort of failure on the part of a service provider paid for by a regular subscription or bill. …

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