Customer complaints soar for online shopping sites

The rise of online retail has caused a surge in customer complaints, according to the annual Consumer Action Monitor report from the Ombudsman Service.

Retailers received more complaints than any other area tracked by the research, which was conducted by ICM in 2014. Banking and finance, public transport, leisure and tourism, tradesmen, property, postal and professional services made up the remainder of the top ten most complained about sectors.

The research found the number of complaints almost doubling to 66 million last year, with a rising trend of disgruntled consumers taking their grievances public via social media.

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18.5 million complaints related to retail, the research found.

The Ombudsman Service, which aims to resolve disputes, suggested that online shopping was creating a new trend in complaints as the lack of personal service leads to greater dissatisfaction when something goes wrong with goods or delivery services.

Chief ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith said: “It’s clear to see that customers are less willing than ever to stand for poor service and poor quality.

“While it is encouraging to know that consumers are becoming more aware of their rights and more likely to take action, we’re also seeing millions of problems that aren’t taken up with suppliers.

“The research highlights a real need for more to be done to tackle poor customer service in the UK”.

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