If it's not worth £20, it's not worth complaining...

cashWhen it comes to complaining, it’s not about the money is it? It’s about the principle of the thing. If we consumers don’t stand up for consumer rights, who will?* Or is it? Apparently, complaining has got to be worth our while before we can be bothered to get off our sofa and on to our soapbox, and most of us don’t get off the sofa for less than £20.

A new survey of 3,000 consumers by Youstice.com found that British shoppers are willing to be out of pocket to the tune of £20 instead of making the effort to complain. After all, time is money, and complaining does take time. However, the time needed to complain is probably shorter than it has ever been, with 67% of us choosing to complain by email, and a further 12% complaining by social media. Only 19% of us will actually go into a store to complain.

But even if we don’t make the complaint, consumers will apparently nurse the bad feeling and will hold a grudge against the retailer, despite the retailer not being given chance to put it right. Following a bad experience, almost half (49%) of UK shoppers said they would think twice before making a repeat purchase and 40% said they would never shop with the same retailer again. Expecting people to know something you haven’t told them, and then getting cross when they don’t know? Sounds like consumers are mostly women…

“Today’s consumers have become increasingly savvy about what and where they purchase online,” said Zbynek Loebl, CEO of Youstice.com. He’s a man, obviously.

“However it is clear from the report that they are losing out financially because retailers have made acclimatised them to this acceptance by making a claim for refunds or exchanges difficult.”

The report comes ahead of new European regulation that comes into effect in 2015, which will demand all internet retailers put in place an Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) system to make complaining easier for consumers.

*Apart from Richard Lloyd at Which! who never sits down.

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