James Walker: Blowing a gasket inspired my company

A few years ago, I had a problem with my boiler, which had packed in just as the weather was turning nippy. I had an insurance policy covering the boiler so I got on to the insurer and tried to get an emergency callout (it was winter, and freezing).

Don't just get angry, get even

What happened next went on to change the course of my life.

To say that getting the problem sorted out was a nightmare is a complete understatement. Even when the boiler was fixed, the firm had made such a mess of my complaint that it took forever to get things resolved and the money I’d lost reimbursed.

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For me it was the final straw – I thought, there had to be a better way to sort out complaints.

I spoke to lots of people about their experiences and realised that many of us find complaining intimidating or frustrating – and I saw to my horror that most people simply give up or don’t make a complaint in the first place. So I created Resolver as a quick, simple and free method to make complaints.

Flash forward a few years and we’ve just helped sort out our millionth complaint. And that’s something I’m really proud of. I wanted people to feel empowered enough to get their complaints addressed quickly and fairly – and I didn’t see why it should be so complicated. And I’m pleased to say that, by the best estimates, we’ve helped people get back upwards of £400 million in compensation.

Some of the complaints we’ve received have made me smile. We’ve helped a goat with a skin disorder get treated properly after his owner’s pet insurance started playing up. And we’ve passed on a few “middle class problems” from customers of a certain supermarket unhappy with the quality of sea kale and quinoa.

But the vast majority of the problems we help sort out are serious and can have a life-changing impact on the people involved.

We’ve helped people make more than 225,000 complaints about PPI in less than six months. And I was really touched after a customer wrote to me recently to say she’d managed to get back £16,500 – just in time for her daughter’s wedding. It’s messages like that one that make all the difference.

We’ve also led the way on helping people claim back money that they’re entitled to as a result of their flights being delayed by more than three hours. Though there’s compensation for this, the rules are really complicated and lots of people simply didn’t know their rights. We’ve since helped more than 200,000 people get refunds as a result of our awareness raising campaign.

And speaking of raising awareness, I’m really pleased to hear that more people are realising they don’t need to use claims managers to make complaints. These firms rip people off and provide little in the way of service. So it’s heartening to hear that you’re turning away from them. Spread the word.

But there’s still much more to be done. I’ve been working with businesses to help them improve their complaints procedures. There’s no point managing complaints if you don’t learn anything from them, so we’re working with organisations big and small to share our knowledge and help them become better.

So if you’re struggling to make your voice heard and you don’t know where to turn, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you at www.resolver.co.uk.