James Walker: Be less British to make all the difference

You shouldn't feel shy about complaining
You shouldn't feel shy about complaining
Have your say

Since I started writing this column, I’ve been blown away by some of the things you’ve contacted me to tell me about. So today I wanted to say a huge thank you to you all.

You’ve told me about countless situations, issues and practices that need to change, and that I’ve been able to publicise as a result.

I sometimes think there’s a real impression that people who make complaints are pushy or demanding and that in some weird way, making a fuss isn’t very “British”.

Well, standing up for yourself when you’ve been treated badly isn’t “making a fuss” in my book. In fact, an extraordinary two million of you have got a complaint sorted through Resolver in just three years – which tells me that as a nation, we’re learning not to be afraid of saying when businesses get things wrong.

Of course, in an ideal world, we wouldn’t need to make complaints. In fact, one of the reasons I choose certain subjects to write about is to help you avoid situations where I know things sometimes go wrong, or to help you avoid dodgy deals or products. Knowing your rights is really empowering – and I’ve learned loads over the years researching this column and writing our guides on Resolver.

So what are the top ten most complained about products or services at Resolver? Well, it’s no surprise that PPI leads the table with just shy of 800,000 complaints (most within the past year). We’ve been working with businesses to help them identify policies that customers have lost, so they can address complaints more effectively. If you’re not sure if you’ve got PPI check out our free tool at www.resolver.co.uk/ppi

Next up are flight delays (300,000) and packaged bank accounts (200,000). A surprisingly large number of people still don’t realise they’re entitled to compensation for flights delayed over three hours. However, watch out for claims manager vultures circling round your cash. You don’t need to pay. Resolver can help you for free.

High street and online shopping complaints are steadily increasing, with a whopping 220,000 complaints combined. I’m expecting complaints about online shopping – and deliveries – to rocket this year. Let me know if you spot any businesses not following the rules. There’s a guide to your rights on the website.

We’ve also had a whopping 90,000 complaints about takeouts and restaurants – another area of complaint on the rise. This is largely down to delivery companies, a subject I’ll be covering next week in a bit more detail.

Rounding off the table are the evergreen subjects of mobile phones, broadband and financial services. I’m working with key businesses and regulators to highlight some of the ongoing problems you’ve been telling me about with these industries, so keep those comments coming. I don’t believe in just resolving complaints when they happen – I’d rather businesses made sure they didn’t happen in the first place.

So congratulations everyone for “being less British” and making your voices heard. I think it’s awesome. I’ll keep on battling to make things better on everything from pensions to parking. But keep those comments coming about the things that you think need to change. Together we can make a difference.