Millions of UK consumers have taken to social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to air their grievances about companies’ products and services.
A new study by price comparison website Gocompare.com has found that 15% of UK adults have complained via social media and 55% of those said that having done so their issue was resolved quickly. 28% subsequently received money off or a goodwill gift.
Researchers found that social media complainers have received discounts and free gifts worth more than £65 million from the companies they’ve engaged with on social media, an average of around £32 each.
- Successful social media complainers received just under £32 each, on average, in refunds and gifts
- Men receive 54% more in discounts or gifts than women when complaining on social media
- Some Brits have received over £500 in discounts and gifts through social media complaints!
The study also found that men were more likely to use social media platforms to challenge brands, with 16% of UK male adults complaining via social media compared to just 14% of women.
Women however, received greater satisfaction from their complaints with a higher proportion (58%) having their issue resolved compared to men (52%). Men, on the other hand, received more compensation for their gripes with an average of £40 each being paid out, a 54% increase in comparison (£26).
However, more than a quarter (28%) of UK consumers have also used social media to praise companies, proving that these days, consumers are more likely to share their positive experiences than they are their bad ones.
Tips for Complaining
Make sure your complaint is valid: You can’t just complain because you have had a change of heart, or because you now have what I like to call buyer’s remorse, you must have a valid reason, faulty product or poor service, or even misled or lied to are all good reasons to complain.
Work do you want to get from the complaint: This is very important, decide what you want, and be reasonable about it too, do you want a refund or replacement, or do you just want someone to say sorry, don’t go expecting thousands of pounds of compensation if you just have a minor issue.
Include your details: Remember to include your full name, address and any account, order or reference numbers, preferably near the top of the letter. If a company cannot easily find you on their systems they may leave you in limbo.
Keep copies: Photocopy all relevant documents – such as receipts, bank statements, order forms and advertisements – and attach them to back up your complaint. If you are seeking redress for a leaking boiler or a new but soiled sofa, include a photo of the damage.
Be polite and reasonable: Whether you are writing or telephoning, stay calm. Intemperate outpourings will give companies an excuse to refuse to deal with you.
Name names: If you mention the unhelpful attitude of, for example, a shop manager or customer services operative, try to include their names..
Set a deadline: Give the company a deadline for sending a useful response – 14 days is fair. Make a note of the date so you can increase the pressure if it is missed.