Smarter Complaints is a new way to solve problems with products or services.
Smarter Complaints gives you guidance about your rights in your exact situation and lets you complain at the push of a button just by answering simple questions.
We’re currently in development, you can see what we’ve been up to in the video on this page, read more across the rest of the site or request access to our alpha.
There is content on this site for:
- people with problems with products or services
- companies receiving complaints or potential complaints
- enforcement organisations and consumer protection professionals
How Smarter Complaints works
Smarter Complaints is about making it easy to get help with a problem with a product or service online by making a website that feel like talking to a knowledgeable friend not like reading a legal textbook.
Making a Smarter Complaint is split into two stage firstly users are given guidance about their rights (the guidance stage) and secondly, if the guidance stage indicates that this is appropriate, help to complain, including template letters/emails (the action stage).
Answer Simple Questions
In the first part of the guidance stage, users answer simple questions about the product they’ve got and problem they are experiencing.
Get Advice Tailored To You
Based on the answers they’ve given users are automatically given a summary of their rights, such as “you’re entitled to a repair or replacement” or “you should contact your credit card issuer and ask for a refund”.
The guidance stage ends with an explanation of a user’s rights and the suggested steps to take. For example, that they are entitled to a refund and should complain to the retailer they purchased from. Users will also have the option the see the legal reasoning for this recommendation – but this will not be necessary for users to be able to complain.
In the action stage customers use template emails and letters to take the recommended actions, to make, chase and elevate a complaint until it is satisfactorily resolved including reporting to enforcement organisations. This will include template correspondence and tools to record telephone calls to the companies to which they are complaining to.
We believe by making it easier to understand and communicate your rights we’ll make it easier for our users to get the results they are entitled to.
Keeping an eye on things
The data gathered – including complaints made, responses received and recorded calls will, with our users permission, be available to enforcement organisations to monitor companies’ behaviour. We’ll also provide a reputation service to let users see previous problems raised and how these were resolved. You can read more about this on our page for enforcement and consumer organisations.
Why Smarter Complaints matters
Depending on who you ask and how you phrase your questions we know that between £2.7bn and £6.6bn is lost each and every year because of sub standard products and poor services in the UK.
Unreliable products and bad customer service costs time as well as money, research conducted for the Office of Fair Trading and analysed on behalf of Consumer Focus shows that many complaints can take more than 20 hours to resolve.
The time, effort and skills that are required to get an issue resolved mean that many problems go unsolved and that the cost of getting things sorted out can be huge.
The reputational and financial costs of making mistakes when dealing with customer complaints about faulty goods can be large.
Research conducted for the Office of Fair Trading and Consumer Focus suggests that after having a bad experience with a company many customers will simply switch to a different provider or not make a new purchase from the company they complained to. Some will even stop buying the type of product or service that they have experienced a problem with at all.
Using Smarter Complaints alongside your existing CRM, case management or point of sale systems you will be able to provide quicker, simpler, clearer and more accurate advice on a customers rights. By referring customers to a trusted third party you can also decrease time spent with elevated complaints and increase confidence that the advice being provided is correct.