Financial complaints hit record high
It’s official – we don’t trust financial services firms, and we’re also getting more confident about complaining to them. Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman have risen by 92% in the last year. Ok, so most of the complaints are in response to those not-at-all irritating recorded message phone calls about missold PPI - but even so – that’s a lot of dissatisfaction.
It’s the latest indicator that most of us aren’t happy with our banks, and that we don’t want to be hit with extra charges and bad customer service when most of us can’t even afford fabulous luxuries like cheese and shoes for the kids. The general distrust caused by the financial crisis has meant that customers are angry, and if necessary, will take their complaints to a higher level than before.
Chief Financial Ombudsman Natalie Ceeney said: ‘We have seen a much stronger consumer voice in the last year, with people becoming more aware of their rights and less willing to put up with poor customer service.’ So much so, in fact, that the Financial Ombudsman Service might have to take on 1,000 extra staff.
The big high street banks, however, aren’t upping their game, despite there being a record breaking half a million official complaints lodged through the free Ombudsman service in 2012-13. Compensation payments have been particularly difficult to prize out of financial companies, with 1 in 4 initial complaints turning into formal disputes.
Even so, I would say that we’re all being quite restrained, considering how royally most people have been shafted. Instead of going through the Ombudsman, it’s a wonder we’re not all leaving parcels of flaming excrement outside Barclays, instead.