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

 

 

 

The complaining habits of public figures and people on the consumer world – Georgie Frost

A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow

Georgie Frost siting down with mug of coffee

 

In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world regarding their complaining habits, today is the turn of Georgie Frost.

Georgie Frost’s complaining habits

1)    Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item?Absolutely.

2) How much does the likely redress have to be before you will
complain and why?
Obviously I factor in how much the ancillary costs of my complaint will be, ‘phone calls, travel, my time etc. to sort out the problem, but it is definitely more about the principle for me rather than the redress. It also depends on my mood, whether I have experienced this before with the company and how bad the fault.

3) How well do you know your legal rights (Consumer Rights Actdifferent sectors regulations etc.)
Pretty well, I have your book! I have also done a Consumer Rights law course and it is my job.

4) If you receive service over and above good do you give feedback?
How?
Yes, I try to. I will often leave a review on Google, say a public thank you on social media and of course say thank you directly to the person. It is important for balance as we are more likely to have a go at a company when they do something wrong. Given how much I use reviews, I should really post more, especially average ones.

5) If you receive poor service how many people do you tell (include
your social media followers too!)
Again, it depends on how bad the service, where the fault lies and how it was remedied, but I can tell many people. And I have a long memory!

6) If you receive good services how many people do you tell?
I am more likely to post a positive comment on social media than I am a negative. I feel my account is not really there for my own personal gripes, I prefer to highlight other people’s.

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?
Time and effort, generally. We all have experience of poor customer service that can put us off. I was complaining to a ‘phone company the other day on behalf of my dad. I managed to get him about £100 back but it took an hour and a half on the phone, speaking to 4 different people across two continents. It was actually quite stressful. I managed to make a batch of brownies from scratch once, in the time that it took me to complain to HMRC. At the end of it the problem still wasn’t resolved but at least I had fresh brownies!

8) What do you think of using social media to complain?
I think it can be useful, if used properly (i.e. not just a mad rant!) to get you directed to where you need to go. Rarely does it solve the problem outright, although it can. I fear that my experience is not going to be the same as a general member of the public though who doesn’t have ‘journalist’ in their Twitter blurb or thousands of followers.

9) Is customer service/being able to gain redress a factor when
deciding where to purchase an item?

It depends on what I am buying. With something like insurance or a mobile ‘phone contract then I will factor in customer service and reviews, more than if I was buying goods.

10) Do you ever contact a CEO of a company? If so at what point in the complaint process?
I have not, no

11) If you have ever used an ADR scheme (ombudsman/mediation/arbitrator)
or gone to Small Claims Court tell us about it
I haven’t.

About Georgie Frost

Georgie is an award-winning broadcaster, sport and finance journalist, speaker and media trainer. She was a BBC sports presenter and in 2014/15 moved to host a daily finance-based radio talk show. Named just 18 months later Financial Broadcast Journalist of the Year and recognised in the top 5 Best New Voices (Radio Presenter) category at the APA awards. She is also a three-time Guardian award-winner for her sport coverage and twice Sony award-nominated news journalist.

Since leaving Share Radio in 2017 she has continued to present, freelancing on national talkRADIO as well as become a regular commentator and newspaper reviewer on BBC 5Live. She appears on TV and radio as a personal finance and consumer affairs expert.

She creates and hosts the NS&I sponsored This is Money podcast with the MailOnline over the last 5 years. It now features in the iTunes top 10 Business podcasts.

@GECFrost

Read about the interviewing habits of other public figures and people in the consumer world 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!

 

 

 

Georgie Frost with a mug of coffee text - talks about her complaining habits