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Trustpilot survey shows us how much we like to complain

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We may call baseball America’s pastime, but if we’re really honest with ourselves, there might be one activity we all love just a little bit more (or is it just me?) — complaining. With the advent of technology, we’ve been gifted with a range of platforms by which to make our voices (and our grievances) heard, and now, the review community for online shoppers known as Trustpilot has released results from a survey examining the top methods of complaining when a consumer has had an unsatisfactory business experience.

As per survey data, over three out of five (62 percent) American adults use online methods to complain, preferring a more impersonal medium when expressing their dissatisfaction. Indeed, nearly 70 percent say they want to avoid personal confrontation when possible. According to Trustpilot, “this survey confirms American propensity to complain, especially when the human interaction factor is removed.”

As a true sign of the times, 50 percent of Americans say they are most comfortable complaining by way of an online review. Indeed, millennials (or at least, those between the ages of 18 and 24) are big fans of web-based reviews, with 74 percent using this method. The biggest motivation for these complaints, the survey suggests, is actually to help the company learn and improve. At least, that’s the case in the United States, with 80 percent of respondents citing this reason for their feedback. Another 78 percent say they complain in hopes of having their voices heard.

In the U.K., however, the reason is either a bit more self-serving — or honest, depending on your viewpoint. The biggest motivator there is to try to secure either an apology or a refund.

“While it is obvious that there are many factors considered when making a complaint about a business, the effect of technology on the feedback process has significantly made it easier for the consumer voice to be heard,” said Fred Mather, general manager of the Americas at Trustpilot. “The online landscape gives consumers more freedom to express themselves and provides a forum for informed communication. Now more than ever, it is important for businesses to listen and respond to feedback across all mediums — especially online.”

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Lulu Chang
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