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Holiday companies are the worst at blaming customers when things go wrong, a new study reveals.
Travel firms were found to be worst at dealing with customer complaints, with 31% of respondents saying they had experienced operators refusing to apologise, accept responsibility or help with problems.
They were closely followed by utility providers – such as power, telecoms and water companies, with 26% of people reporting problems – banks (21%) and delivery companies (20%).
The survey, which questioned 1,000 consumers, found that most (76%) had been frustrated with businesses refusing to apologise when things had gone wrong with a product or service.
Almost half (47%) had an even worse experience being told that problems were their fault when they tried to make what they consider to be legitimate complaints.
The telephone is still the preferred method to make a complaint, favoured by 70% of people surveyed. But bad telephone experiences often add to the frustrations of complaining customers.
The poll by call answering service provider alldayPA found that 68% of people had experienced problems with rude and unhelpful call handlers while 55% said they had been frustrated with automated call menus when all they wanted to do was reach someone to speak with.
Company spokeswoman, Sue Ratcliffe, said: “Understandably companies don’t want to accept blame for something that isn’t their fault, but it’s important to strike the right balance so that customers feel that you are listening and doing your best to help them.
“Key to this is training staff on how to deal with complaints, especially when customers are angry and needing to let off steam.
“With many companies using websites and automated call menus to deal with many customer interactions, it seems the art of listening to complaints may be under threat.”
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