Scots shoppers make fewer complaints than UK counterparts

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Scots are less likely to complain about a product or service than those in the rest of the UK.

The Consumer Action Monitor, carried out in Scotland for the first time by Ombudsman Services, found that only 36 per cent followed up a problem, compared to 48% across the UK.

More than half of Scots (56 per cent) had an issue with a product or service at least once during 2014 which accounts for more than 2.3m people.

Nearly a third of all complaints from Scots were aimed at the retail sector. Energy (12 per cent), banking (8 per cent) and telecoms (6 per cent) were the next sectors likely to attract the wrath of the Scottish public.

The number of cases from Scotland handled by Ombudsman Services, more than doubled in 2014, rising from 2972 in 2013 to 6886 the next year.

Lewis Shand-Smith, Chief Executive of Ombudsman Services explained that the figures did not represent a negative result, he said: “This isn’t necessarily bad news as it could indicate greater awareness amongst Scottish consumers of how to complain effectively and ensure they receive the service they are entitled to.”

There were 3.7 million customer complaints in Scotland in 2014, which translates into one problem every five seconds.

Those living in the south of the country are most likely to complain, while residents in Lothian were found to be most likely to “grin and bear it”.

The most complaints in 2014 were made by people in North East Scotland, with 1.05 per head.

A further 6.6 million problems were conceived but not acted upon, the equivalent of 1.26 per person.

Shand-Smith added: “With the prospect of additional powers over consumer affairs issues being devolved to Holyrood by the Scotland Bill currently being debated at Westminster, we hope this data will also provide additional information to those deciding how best to manage these issues in Scotland in future.”

Lewis Shand-Smith, Chief Executive of Ombudsman Services explained that the figures did not represent a negative result, he said: “This isn’t necessarily bad news as it could indicate greater awareness amongst Scottish consumers of how to complain effectively and ensure they receive the service they are entitled to.