We're a nation of complainers... and doing it over social media is a £65m industry

Oliver Gill
Follow Oliver
I don't belieeeeeve it: Victor Meldrew (played by Richard Wilson) was killed off in sitcom One Foot in the Grave before getting the chance to leverage social media to complain (Source: Getty)

Alongside queuing, there isn't much us Brits love better than a good old whinge.

And for those willing to take to social media to air their grievances, new data suggests it has become a rather rewarding pastime.

Around 15 per cent of UK adults have complained about goods and services on social media, according to the latest research - and doing so netted them an average of £32 in refunds and free gifts each year.

The complaints statistics compares with 28 per cent of people that have taken to social media to praise companies about goods and services.

Read more: Who needs meerkats? Gocompare shares rocket on bumper trading

All this moaning means UK consumers receive around £65m from firms over the course of the year, according to Gocompare, which commissioned the study.

Men are slightly more likely to complain than women (16 per cent versus 14 per cent) by using the likes of Facebook or Twitter.

Women (58 per cent of them), however, are more likely to be satisfied with what they get in return, compared with 52 per cent of men.

Read more: How can brands avoid social media crises?

But despite being less satisfied, blokes received higher payouts on average, some £40 per year, compared with the average of £25 handed back to women.

"Social media channels have become a key component of a company’s customer service strategy with most brands having dedicated accounts to respond to and deal with negative comments quickly and efficiently, and quite often with a more personal touch," said Gocompare's head of money, Matt Sanders.

Many people dislike confrontation and find complaining in person or over the phone quite difficult, even when their consumer rights are being ignored.

"Whether you’re a seasoned complainer, or uncomfortable about calling out a poor product or service, using social media is an increasingly common and, for many consumers, successful way of getting your issue resolved.”

Related articles