Household customer complaints reach record highs

Whether your neighbour’s slightly erratic gardening habits means that now every time you open the door you come face to face with an unsightly gnome, or they’ve left their car parked on your side of the road for the umpteenth time this week, despite politely asking them not to, there’s nothing quite like having a good old gripe about a neighbour’s antics.

According to consumer groups though, the UK public’s ‘complaining’ trends are now extending well beyond complaints about neighbours. The current financial climate of uncertainty and worry has caused customer complaints to soar, on both sides of the Atlantic.

The home improvement sector, in particular, is receiving an increasing number of customer complaints, with criticisms about products and services installed in the home reaching record highs. In fact, during the last decade, complaints about double glazing have rocketed, alongside a growing tendency for consumers to complain about upholstered furniture, electrical goods and other home maintenance, repairs and improvements.

To help prevent this potentially time-wasting and headache-inducing situation from occurring, the Consumer Federation of America recommends that customers research companies, such as builders or double glazing installers, before you employ them, and to only recruit those companies that are fully licensed. Customers should also be cautious about what retail outlet they purchase home improvement products from and only use reputable companies that are well-established and have built up an ‘honorable’ reputation.

If, for example, you are want to improve the look, efficiency and overall safety of your home by installing double glazed windows, it is advisable to use a trustworthy company such as Safestyle to ensure that the double glazed windows and doors that you buy meet a certain standard and quality.

Not only are customer complaints on the rise but, due to budget cuts in both the UK and the US, many companies have been left with less customer service representatives to deal with the growing number of customer complaints. Not managing to have their complaints dealt with quickly and efficiently is understandably intensifying the problem and making the whole situation worse.

According to a recent study conducted by the Consumer Federation of America, the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators, the top three customer complaints in the US in 2011 were related to vehicles, credit/debit and home improvement/construction. In fact, grievances about household goods are becoming an increasingly popular gripe both in the UK and the United States.

In auto sales, an industry that has traditionally attracted a high amount of complaints, misrepresentations in advertising and highly persuasive salesmen has often led to consumers driving away in a vehicle that they are not entirely happy with.

To prevent such a potential dilemma from occurring, it is advisable that auto consumers research and review the cars they are interested in purchasing prior to making the actual purchase.