Brits more likely to complain about food than their bank
British consumers are more likely to complain about their food than their bank.
Number crunching suggests 48% of Brits are happy to send food back if they are not completely happy with it, compared to just the 17% of bank customers who are prepared to switch banks if they're unhappy with the service they receive.
That's in spite of figures from the Financial Ombudsman Service that show it received more than 19,000 complaints about current accounts in the year up to April 2013.
Furthermore, 32% of Brits state they don't believe there's much difference between one bank and another, according to research by Nationwide.
In the last three months of 2013, just 300,000 people switched their current accounts following the introduction of the Switch Guarantee Scheme (the service aims to allow customers to swap their accounts to another bank within seven working days) - that's just a tiny percentage of the 140 million customers who have current and deposit accounts.
We're also least likely to complain about our bank compared to our European peers. This is surprising seeing as Europeans are so reluctant to pipe up about things like shoddy food – just 20% of the French are happy to complain about bad food or service in a restaurant, and only 14% of Italians.
Only customers in Germany were more unlikely than Brits to complain if they were unhappy with their bank.
Unwilling to complain
Phil Smith, Nationwide's head of current accounts, said: "Britons are traditionally seen as unwilling to complain and would rather keep quiet than make a fuss. However, this research has challenged that stereotype. In fact, we're more likely to stand up to bad service than our European counterparts."
"If you're unhappy with the service you receive from your financial provider, we would encourage you to stand up to this and consider other options. The new Current Account Switch Service means it has never been easier to move current accounts."
If you’ve have a complaint about a financial service product you have bought but the company you bought it from refuses to resolve your problem after eight weeks, the Ombudsman can help. The Ombudsman will investigate and resolve the matter. The Ombudsman is independent and its service is free to consumers. The Ombudsman may find in the company’s favour but consumers don’t have accept its decision and are always free to go to court instead. But if they do accept an Ombudsman’s decision, it is binding both on them and on the business.
An account opened with a clearing bank (few building societies offer current accounts) that provides the ability to draw cash (usually via a debit card) or cheques from the account. Some pay fairly minimal rates of interest if the account is in credit. Most current accounts insist your monthly income (salary or pension) is paid directly in each month and they offer a number of optional services – such as overdrafts and charge cards – which are negotiable but will incur fees.