Understanding Consumer Experiences of Complaint ... - Citizens Advice

why consumers complain and what they hope to achieve. • who consumers contact to make a complaint. • consumer experience of the complaint procedure. • why some consumers abandon a complaint, and at what stage. • consumer awareness and experience of alternative dispute resolution. • consumer satisfaction with ...
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Understanding Consumer Experiences of Complaint Handling June 2016

Research Report prepared for Citizens Advice Prepared by:

Kate Slater – Associate Director Gayle Higginson – Research Manager

Contents Executive Summary................................................................................................... 4 Background to Citizens Advice and the need for research ................................. i Research objectives .................................................................................... i Key findings .............................................................................................. ii Recommendations..................................................................................... vi Methodology ........................................................................................... vii Research Background, Objectives and Method .......................................................... 1 Background ............................................................................................... 2 Objectives ................................................................................................. 2 Methodology ............................................................................................. 3 Research Findings ..................................................................................................... 1 Background to complaints ........................................................................... 2 Profile of complainants ............................................................................... 2 Consumer Complaint Behaviour ................................................................... 3 Motivations to complain .............................................................................. 4 Barriers to making a complaint .................................................................... 9 Process and outcome................................................................................ 12 The typical process for complaint handling .................................................. 12 Resolving the initial complaint ................................................................... 13 Meeting expectations ................................................................................ 17 Initial contact .......................................................................................... 20 During the process ................................................................................... 24 The outcome ........................................................................................... 32 Support .................................................................................................. 36 External advice ........................................................................................ 36 Referral .................................................................................................. 39 Awareness of mediation services ................................................................ 42 Using ADRs and other mediation services .................................................... 44 Satisfaction ............................................................................................. 49 Satisfaction with the final outcome ............................................................. 49 Dropping complaints ................................................................................ 57 The model complaint ................................................................................ 59 The ideal process ..................................................................................... 59

Conclusions and Recommendations ........................................................................ 62 Appendices.............................................................................................................. 66 Appendix A - Research materials................................................................ 67 Appendix B - Detail