Passenger Transport Users Experiencing Poor Service Tell Consumer Council Complaining Is A Waste Of Time
Wednesday 15 August 2012
A new report from the Consumer Council, ‘Barriers to Complaining’, has revealed that almost 40 per cent of passenger transport users who do not complain after experiencing poor service do not make a complaint due to a belief that it is a waste of time.
The Consumer Council’s Director of Policy, Aodhan O’Donnell, has expressed disappointment in the results contained within the report which form part of a Consumer Council presentation at the Community Transport Association Cooperative Transport 2012 Conference in Stormont.
“We conducted a comprehensive survey of the users of passenger transport including bus, rail, ferry and aeroplane to examine whether passengers complain in the face of poor service and if not, why not.”
“The results contained in the Consumer Council ‘Barriers to Complaining’ report have shown that 14 per cent of passengers surveyed across all modes of passenger transport received poor service while travelling and while half of these passengers felt entitled to complain only a quarter actually made a complaint. Of particular concern is the finding that only 55 per cent of the passengers who did make a complaint to a transport company received a response.
“If passengers fail to complain, transport providers are let off the hook and services cannot and will not improve. It is therefore essential that transport providers make it easy for passengers to complain and actively respond to the complaints made.”
“The Consumer Council believes passengers should be empowered to make a complaint when they receive poor service. Passengers who feel entitled to complain but choose not to cited three main reasons to us for not making a complaint; 37 per cent believe it would be a waste of time; 22 per cent considered it to be too much hassle and 19 per cent do not want to cause a fuss.”
“The Consumer Council is very concerned about these figures. Our report makes some very specific recommendations to transport providers to encourage people to complain when necessary. The main challenge for transport providers is to ensure that passengers are confident that their complaint will be dealt with quickly and satisfactorily. The Consumer Council is recommending that transport providers actively promote their complaints handling services; ensure complaint processes address passengers’ concerns and improve service standards; enable passengers to complain in the manner and medium which suits them best and ensure that passengers receive a substantive response within a specified timeframe.”
“The Consumer Council does recognise that customers who use passenger transport services are largely positive about their experiences but it is of concern that those who have less than satisfactory service feel unable or unwilling to complain. We are hopeful that should the transport providers take proactive measures based on our recommendations that more passengers will feel able to complain and have their complaints dealt with satisfactorily enhancing their travelling experience.”
Copies of the Barriers to Complaining report can be downloaded from the Consumer Council website www.consumercouncil.org.uk/publications or request a copy by telephoning 0800 121 6022.
- Consumer Council media contact: Pauline Gordon, telephone, 028 9067 4813 or 079 0997 2704 or e-mail, email@example.com
The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland’s consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for