What UK customers are complaining about

Complaint handling company, Resolver, has recently published statistics for the Top 20 types of customer complaints that they helped solve, via their free complaints tool. As these statistics refer to the complaints’ handled by Resolver, naturally, we get a very limited view of the problems that customers may be experiencing and complaining about. For instance, the data set refers to UK-based customers, only, and to situations where customers were unable to get a resolution by contacting the firm, directly. Nonetheless, the dataset offers an interesting glimpse into the areas where customers are receiving poor service and, more significantly, poor complaint resolution.

What do Resolver’s numbers show?

In the last financial year, Resolver handled 1,382,566 individual complaints. The largest category of complaints was for the financial sector. Given the role of money in everyday life, and the role of the financial sector as a gateway for the movement of money, this is perhaps not surprising: only about 30% of our transactions use coins and bank notes.


The bulk of the complaints in the finance sector comes from the miss-selling of products, particularly PPIs. If you don’t know what I am talking about, this extract from consumer protection website, Which, will be helpful:

What is PPI and how was it mis-sold?

Payment protection insurance (PPI) is an insurance product sold alongside credit cards, loans and many other finance agreements. It’s meant to ensure that payments are made if the borrower is unable to make them due to sickness or unemployment.

But huge numbers of policies were mis-sold because the policyholders would never have been able to claim on the insurance.

In 2005, Citizens Advice issued a so-called super-complaint to competition watchdogs about what it described as a ‘protection racket’, starting a series of events that led to the compensation payments to consumers and sales of some types of PPI being banned.


The next category of complaints concerns travel and holidays – including, complaints about flight delays and airlines (the largest sub-category), hotels and travel agents. This is followed by retail, communications, food, leisure and utilities:

Data source: Resolver


It is also interesting to look at the evolution of complaints over the last two financial years, and what they say about how we live and spend our money:

Screenshot 2019-05-16 at 09.30.34
Data source: Resolver


As more of us are buying things online, there has been an increase in complaints relating to online shopping (84%) and package delivery (203%). Items that bear little resemblance to their online description, and late deliveries? Sounds familiar. Oh, and what to say of the doubling in complaints about Film and TV streaming services?


What shift have you noticed, in terms of what you complain about, or even how you complain?

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