Claims management companies and media fuel rise in complaints

Mon 28 May 2012

In the latest research, ‘increased press/media attention’ as the main reason for an increase in complaints.

In the latest research into the management of complaints carried out by Hazell Carr, the Equiniti Group’s specialist resource and complaints handling business, 70% of companies regard ‘increased press/media attention’ as the main reason for an increase in complaints over the last 5 years, closely followed at 66%, by a ‘rise in the profile of claims management companies’.

Equiniti Group conducted the research amongst financial services organisations in the UK that together handle over 1 million complaints a year.

The FSA has stated that complaint handling cost UK businesses more than £2.6 billion in 2011 in redress alone.  The significant year-on-year increase in complaint volumes, primarily caused by Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), is likely to continue in 2012.  Based on current trends, complaint handling will continue to cost financial services organisations hundreds of millions of pounds each year, both in terms of redress and resource costs.

The research also highlighted that the traditional view of Britons being reluctant to complain has changed, with 100% of the respondents believing that there has been a cultural shift to a complaints culture.

Susan Bartlett, Director, Hazell Carr said; “Thoroughly investigating complaints can be a time-consuming process. If not properly managed, the current surge in complaints could lead to an increase in processing times and a reduction in case quality. Companies are in an invidious position, as rectifying complaints accurately is essential, but the rapid rise of claims management companies that are urging more individuals to complain for financial gain is also costing the UK public and private sectors millions of pounds.”

Why do you think people are complaining more now than they were 5 years ago? 

Note to editors

The Equiniti Group Complaints Management Survey was conducted during March 2012, surveying complaint handling specialists within leading financial services organisations in the UK.

*All FSA statistics have been sourced from:

http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/library/other_publications/commentary/aggregate_com/index.shtml

In 2011, a total of 4,115,746 complaints were raised.  Of these complaints, 2,256,698 were upheld, meaning 1,859,048 cases were refuted.  In 2011, a total of £2,660,611,625 was paid out in redress.