A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow
In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world, today is the turn of Matt Allwright.
1) Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item?
Yes, but always from the point of view that we both have something to gain. I just complained about excess packaging. Turns out they weren’t using plastic but compostible starch wotsits. You live, you learn. If you don’t complain, you don’t.
2) How much does the likely redress have to be before you will complain and why?
I’m rarely after money. I’m usually looking for some sense of balance in the transaction. It just has to make sense.
3) How well do you know your legal rights (would be the Consumer Rights Act, different sectors regulations etc. in the UK)
Not bad, but I’m probably a bit out of date in a couple of areas. The legislation changes quite regularly. I had the 2008 (amended 2014) Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations down pat. Great bit of law, that.
4) If you receive service over and above good do you give feedback? If so how?
Always. It breaks down the barrier between customer and provider and demonstrates you understand the difficulty and importance of dealing well with clients. Verbally, written, direct to bosses. It makes a massive difference because it’s relatively rare.
5) If you receive poor service how many people do you tell?
I tell my friends. I tend not to use social media because it bends everyone out of shape on the few occasions I have done it. Everyone gets a bit strange and jittery and I feel like I’ve abused my position a bit.
6) If you receive good services how many people do you tell?
Typically, friends and family.
7) What if anything stops you from complaining?
The possibility of a positive outcome.
8) What do you think of using social media to complain?
It has to be structured and not personal.
9) Is customer service/being able to gain redress a factor when deciding where to purchase an item?
Yes. If I’ve had a bad experience I won’t go back.
10) Do you ever contact a CEO of a company? If so at what point in the complaint process?
Again, only if it’s relevant otherwise everyone gets a bit unnecessary. If I can help a company shape up, then it’s worth going to the top to make it happen. I’m not going to do it just to make my life easier. I’m in a slightly different position to most because of my role in the public eye. That’s not there to be used for my own benefit.
11) If you have ever used an ADR scheme (ombudsman/mediation/arbitrator) or gone to the Small Claims Court tell us about it
No. Never had to.
Read about the interviewing habits of other public figures in the series of interviews by The Complaining Cow
About Matt Allwright
Still waiting for him to send me his bio! But you know him from Watchdog and Rogue Traders! Author of Watchdog: The Consumer Survival Guide*
I met him discussing wedding cancellations for Watchdog on The One Show:
See more people in the public eye/consumer world talking about their complaint habits in the interview series
Help with your complaints
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!
101 Habits of an Effective Complainer see Matt Allwright’s review