My Skint pals!
Hello to you all, and apologies for being so out of touch. There’s been a lot going on here to keep me away from the blog lately, but I’m delighted to be back now, and resolving to be back for good! Thanks for sticking with me.
So, that’s a controversial headline question, eh? I ask because research just out reveals that 61% of UK citizens have made fake complaints about goods and services, simply in order to get compensation. 61% guys. When they weren’t actually unhappy at all. Wowzers.
I’m always hearing that we Brits don’t complain even when we should, that we hang back, leaving our American cousins to get all assertive. Yet, here we apparently are folks, complaining about fake stuff just to get the moolah. Then I remembered the debate on the site before about how so many of us have worn clothes then returned them for a refund.
But this fake complaining malarkey takes things to another level, doesn’t it? Restaurants, supermarkets and takeaways are the most popular places in which to make false complaints, in the survey carried out by vouchercloud, as part of the company’s research into the lengths British citizens go to in order to save money.
The five top targets for fake complaints:
1) Restaurants – 54%
2) Supermarkets – 48%
3) Takeaway food outlets – 35%
4) Fashion retailers – 32%
5) Banks – 15%
And the level of success? Well, it’s a pretty even split, folks. Yep, pull a complaint from thin air, cook it up in the Land of Make Believe, then take it to a shop and you basically have a 1 in 2 chance of getting what you want. Of those fake complainers, more than half – a whopping 55% – revealed that their sham gripes had been upheld. The majority of these (51%) received discounts on their product/service, 34% said that they had received vouchers and 14% revealed that they had been offered cash incentives. For complaining about nothing, pals. About stuff that doesn’t exist. Crazy, huh?
Now, the study doesn’t say what people complained about, but I guess there would be a lot of ‘this fish tastes off’ etc. I remember a pals’ dad returning an empty steak wrapper to a supermarket, complaining that the steak had tasted bad. He had still eaten it though, then just returned the wrapper! And guess what, he got his money back! In the absence of real examples of complaints I bring you these ones for a laugh.
So: fake complaining – it is worth it? (There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.) Aside from it being totally morally wrong, of course. Well, lots of people clearly think it’s an easy way to make money – each fake complaint netted the complainee an estimated £55.
Of course, businesses are pretty terrified of complaints these days, ruled as they are by how social media can break a reputation in minutes. Maybe that’s why they’d rather tackle a complaint immediately than take the time to investigate whether it’s really legitimate.
What do you think? Have you ever done this? Would you? Or are you a business owner with any stories to share about people’s downright brazenness? Share it with us – it’ll be worth a read!
Bye for now, Skint pals. See you soon – I promise! Hope you’re all doing well.
PS – I did an interview over at Mint personal finance recently, where I chat about my views of saving and spending money. If you’re interested you can read it here.