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Business public figures interview series

The complaining habits of public figures – Octopus CEO Greg Jackson

A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow

In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world regarding their complaining habits, today is the turn of Octopus Energy CEO Greg Jackson.

Greg Jackson

1) Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item?
Only where I think they’ll be relatively straightforward in dealing with it.

2) How much does the likely redress have to be before you will complain and why?
For me, It’s less about the amount than the hassle. If I think I’ll get reasonable redress without too much hassle, great! But I simply haven’t got time or mental energy to get into long drawn out issues.

3) How well do you know your legal rights (would be the Consumer Rights Act, different sectors regulations etc. in the UK)
I guess it’s a professional duty for me, so pretty well! 🙂

4) If you receive service over and above good do you give feedback?
How?
Yes. I try to make a point of it. If it’s personal service, by tipping and complimenting and ideally letting a manager know. And I’ll often visit tripadvisor or twitter to give positive feedback.

Recent examples include:

Good Trip Advisor review on a pub

5) If you receive poor service how many people do you tell (include
your social media followers too!)
You know, I used to do social media a lot – but I’ve realised that people are much more likely to complain on Twitter (etc.) than compliment – so I try to redress the balance a bit and consciously don’t tweet complaints in anger any more. I very occasionally use it to try to get something resolved, but have found that companies who are poor at handling complaints offline, by phone or by email tend to be equally bad on twitter etc. But I do tell friends, family and colleagues when I think something was poor. I do try to distinguish between culturally poor, and a poor experience because of an individual, etc. and am far less forgiving of the former.

6) If you receive good services how many people do you tell?
Not enough!

7) If you don’t really complain or it has to be a significant amount
in question before you will, what stops you from complaining?
Mental energy – Moving on is usually less stressful.

8) What do you think of using social media to complain?
I’ve realised that people are much more likely to complain on twitter (etc) than compliment – so I try to redress the balance a bit and consciously don’t tweet complaints in anger any more. I very occasionally use it to try to get something resolved, but have found that companies who are poor at handling complaints offline, by phone or by email tend to be equally bad on twitter etc.

Social media is effective at complaining against organisations who care about their image – but then so, generally, is every other form of complaint. But I’ve tried complaining against crap organisations on Twitter – like the High Street electrical retailer who took my 90 year old gran for a ride with utterly pointless aftercare insurance – and then didn’t pay out on it and treated her terribly, but nothing was effective – complaints procedure, Twitter, email the CEO. That was infuriating. But the more I pushed the more infuriated I got, with no progress – so I’ll simply never use them again.

9) Is customer service/being able to gain redress a factor when
deciding where to purchase an item
Yes… because I don’t have bandwidth to deal with crap redress, so I just purchase from places I’m confident that things will go smoothly, and if not that complaints will be handled well. I’ll never use a majopr online hotel booking site for this reason, but I’ll pay a little more to use one which handles issues better.

10) Do you ever contact a CEO of a company? If so at what point in the complaint process?
Yes… I tend to do it quite early because as a CEO myself, I want to see how they handle it.

11) If you have ever used an ADR scheme (ombudsman/mediation/arbitrator) or gone to the Small Claims Court tell us about it
Not really.  I just don’t use businesses where this is likely to be an issue.

Read about the interviewing habits of other public figures in the series of interviews by The Complaining Cow

Greg is also featured in my blog post Why CEOs should have a presence on social media.

About Greg Jackson

Greg is an experienced entrepreneur and passionate advocate of technology-driven innovation, particularly in legacy industries where customers are underserved. He’s founded a number of successful businesses and served as Director of innovative businesses, including Zopa, the world’s first peer to peer lender, which has now lent several billion pounds fairly and responsibly whilst generating excellent interest rates for lenders.

As a technology entrepreneur, Greg built and sold ecommerce company C360, built HomeServe’s innovation business and is an angel investor in a wide range of tech startups.

He founded Octopus Energy in 2015. Octopus Energy uses technology to be highly efficient – empowering customers with a full digital experience, and then using the same systems to provide the highest standards of support to its customers by phone, email and chat. This technology allows Octopus to challenge normal energy models, challenging ‘tease and squeeze’ practices by offering good value to new and loyal customers, and maximising price transparency.

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

And if you need help with complaining effectively and making sure you are never fobbed off. GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

 

 

 

Greg Jackson headshot talks about complaining habits

 

 

 

Categories
public figures interview series

The complaining habits of public figures – Andy Webb

A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow

In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world regarding their complaining habits, today is the turn of Andy Webb Be Clever With Your Cash and presenter.

Andy Webb headshot

Andy Webb’s complaining habits

1) Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item?
Yes absolutely. If something isn’t up to scratch I’ll want a replacement or my money back.

2) How much does the likely redress have to be before you will complain and why?
I won’t complain about a few pennies, but often it’s the principle and not the money that’s the motivation behind any complaint I make. I hate that companies so often get away with bad service, or worse blatant rip-offs, knowing most customers will just shrug it off or are too embarrassed to make a scene. So I’ll make a stand in most cases in the hope whatever went wrong is sorted and won’t happen to others.

3) How well do you know your legal rights (Consumer Rights Act, different sectors regulations etc.)
Hopefully I’m reasonably well versed. But rules and regulations do change a fair bit so I’ll double check if I need to address something significant. Otherwise I’ll wing it based on what I (think) I know.

4) If you receive service over and above good do you give feedback? How?
You know what, not as much as I’d like. You get a lot of these email surveys after a call now and if someone has gone above and beyond then I’ll give them a really good rating. If it’s face to face, which is rarer and rarer these days, then I’ll make sure they know I appreciate it. This is a lot easier when eating out where I can tip.

5) If you receive poor service how many people do you tell (include your social media followers too!)
I’m writing this on a train. The thing is I should have been on a a different train more than an hour ago. But if I ranted about every delayed or cancelled train that would be my whole Twitter feed. I tend instead to include these stories in articles on Be Clever With Your Cash, either as examples of companies to avoid, or to demonstrate why it can be worth following through on complaints.  (See How to complain about train journeys (or the lack of them! for how to do this).

6) If you receive good services how many people do you tell?
Again, if I’d had good customer service I’m more likely to recommend it to my readers and viewers – as long as it’s also good value for money. If something is spectacular I’ll tweet about it too.

7) If you don’t really complain or it has to be a significant amount in question before you will, what stops you from complaining?
I will complain about most things! But I do weigh up what my time is worth. Last night I took a prebooked taxi from a station to a hotel ahead of some filming today. I’d been told by the production company that it was prepaid too, but the driver asked me to pay. I’d been travelling for six hours and it was late and since the fare was only a fiver I decided it was better just to pay and get to sleep!

8) What do you think of using social media to complain?
It can work wonders. Not only does it not take long, it can help my followers know who’s good and who’s bad. Of course it helps if you’ve got a profile that says you’re a money expert on the telly! Saying that I’ve not done it much. A few years ago I got £20 of Shake Shake vouchers after tweeting a picture of the sorry looking ice cream I received  and what it should have looked like.

9) Is customer service/being able to gain redress a factor when deciding where to purchase an item?
Sometimes. I won’t shop at retailers like Sports Direct where refunds are only given as store credit (though that’s not the only reason I avoid Mike Ashley owned shops!) (That is only for change of mind where there is no legal obligation for a retailer to refund at all). I’ll also gravitate to John Lewis for things like electronics and tech thanks to the extended warranty you get for free on purchase – though the dept store isn’t as good as it used to be.

10) Do you ever contact a CEO of a company? If so at what point in the complaint process?
No, I’ve never got to this point. I’ll always try to address it further down the chain, politely of course, and this has always brought me the result I want – though this can sometimes be a frustratingly long wait.

11) If you have ever used an ADR scheme (ombudsman/mediation/arbitrator) or gone to Small Claims Court tell us about it
Again, not yet. And fingers crossed I won’t have to. I try to mitigate against it getting to this stage by choosing the services I use with the best record. However I do worry when using tradesmen where I don’t have any knowledge, and it seems there’s little regulation, that this could happen.

Read about the interviewing habits of other public figures in the series of interviews by The Complaining Cow

About Andy Webb

Andy Webb is a money expert who is a presenter on Channel 5’s consumer series Shop Smart Save Money and runs his award-winning blog Be Clever With Your Cash. He also writes the monthly money column for Reader’s Digest. His most successful ever complaint landed him almost free broadband for a year, though he’d rather have had broadband that worked.
@andyclevercash on Twitter Be Clever with Your Cash Facebook page.

headshot Andy Webb financial journalist and bloggerRead about the interviewing habits of other public figures in the series of interviews by The Complaining Cow

Help with your complaints

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

If you need help with complaining effectively and making sure you are never fobbed off. GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!