5th July 2016
Millions of UK consumers have taken to social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to air their grievances about companies’ products and services and received compensation as a result.
A new study by price comparison website Gocompare.com has found that 33% of the UK’s adults have complained via social media and 42% of those said that having done so their issue was resolved quickly. Some 27% subsequently received refunds and money off whilst 15% received a goodwill gift.
Researchers found that in the last 12 months, social media complainers have received discounts and free gifts worth around £140m from the companies they’ve engaged with on social media, an average of around £32 each.
However, a surprising 42% of UK consumers have also used social media to praise companies, proving that these days, consumers are just as likely to share their positive experiences as they are their bad ones.
Gocompare.com’s head of money, Matt Sanders, said: “Many companies now use social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to build greater engagement with their customers and although this research shows that they can be a great way of collecting customer endorsements and compliments, many consumers are also now successfully using them as a means of raising a complaint.
“For businesses with a large social media following, having someone leave a scathing message about a product or service on their Facebook page is equivalent to having an angry customer standing in a large and busy store shouting ‘I’m not happy with this!’.
“In those circumstances a staff member would quickly try to deal with the situation so as not to put other customers off. Many larger businesses now have dedicated teams to respond to and deal with negative comments on their social media channels quickly and efficiently, not only to try to get those customers back onside and stop them making further fuss, but to show their other ‘followers’ that if things do go wrong they will deal with it quickly and fairly.
“Many people dislike confrontation and find complaining in person or over the phone quite difficult, even when their consumer rights are being ignored. Whether you’re an expert complainer, or you find it hard to speak out about receiving a poor product or service, using social media is an increasingly common and, for many consumers, successful way of getting your issue resolved.”
The comparison site has put together information about complaining and consumer rights on the following link.