Customer service decline


Has anyone else noticed themselves having more issues with companies and it getting more difficult to have them resolved?

I have made a lot more complaints recently than I ever used to and I’ve even had to go as far as the financial ombudsman service. The FOS shows a very high upheld rate for complaints as well.

I’m dealing with a company at the moment who are just saying computer says no and it’s very frustrating.


Yep! I had an ongoing warranty issue with Bathstore that ran in for 8 months and it took an email to the CEO to get any sort of action. They were incompetent and so dismissive. To be honest, I expect poor service nowadays, and when you receive good service it takes you by surprise. It used to be the other way round. I have family in the US so visit there frequently and I’m always impressed with the service level there. The yanks know how to do service and it’s one Americanism that we should voluntarily adopt, instead we adopt Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Proms.

(Adrian) #3

I think, particularly with services, the rise of comparison websites has made price more of an important differentiator than it ever has before, where in some cases the price is pretty much all the customer uses to make the decision to purchase from any particular company.

Many companies are simply cutting costs as far as possible in order to reach the top of the price comparison tables - this means cutting the number of people across the business and automating everything as much as possible, as well as in customer service.

When everything goes right this is fine, but it makes it a nightmare when things go wrong.

There are still companies out there offering good service but the price differential between them and the companies competing on price is growing I think so you need to really care about service to even think about choosing them.


The biggest mistake people make when complaining is doing it on the phone. If you do it all via email or even post you have a record, the company cannot then twist what is said and you can recall something you have said or the company has said and quote that.

Most of the complaints that get escalated to the relevant ombudsmen and get rejected are often due to lack of evidence, that’s because its done in a non traceable way. A lot that win are due to proper paperwork.

That extra bit of time not using the phone can make a big difference with whether a complaint gets dealt with correctly.

When I complain via email, I clearly add to the bottom of the email, do not phone me in relation to this, I expect a response by email or post.


Can you go to the Ombudsman for broken promises? :joy: getting really sick of Revolut now. Commission free stock trading is taking priority over things they promised in February.


To be honest, I’ve always found customer service quite bad in the UK: all quite polite, and interested in how I am, and whether they can call me by my first name, but not generally helpful or able to solve actual problems…

But I agree, I think its getting worse, and I think the reason is exactly what @Wilt said: a race to the bottom…

I think it depends. When it gets to a certain stage I fully agree with you. But on the other hand where it’s about minor problems, I do often find that you actually have a better chance of getting things resolved in a fairly timely fashion if you just pick up the phone, and talk. But it depends a lot on the company and the matter involved, obviously…


I’m not really on about minor problems, of course you phone up and get that sorted in a few minutes.

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This is particularly the case with airlines I think. You hear a lot of complaints about how poorly they treat customers now, but the same people doing the complaining will generally fly Ryanair if it’s £10 cheaper on Skyscanner. When people choose based on price regardless of service, it’s no wonder companies prioritise cost cutting over customer service

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(Adrian) #9

Yep, it’s been all over the news today that Ryanair has been voted worst airline for the sixth year in a row.

Yet all they have to do is break out the <£5 each way fares and very few would even dream of paying more to fly with a more reputable airline.

It’s even gotten to a point with Ryanair where I think they even relish coming bottom in these surveys, it gets their name on the news and reminds everyone that they are dirt cheap to fly with. Perfect timing too, everyone is booking their holidays right now…


The same is probably true for many industries/businesses.

I often see reviews like:

“Fanasticly cheap - Brilliant if everything works out. But… If you need to contact customer service, it’s a disaster”.

When the price can be 100’s of pounds difference (like airlines), I imagine the majority would opt for the lower cost, higher risk of someone cocking up - Especially when on average, I imagine the cock ups aren’t as common as simply doing the job they are supposed to do.

If the price is only a bit cheaper, yet you run the risk of terrible service, I imagine “most” people would go with the better operator.

It really is a case of, you get what you pay for.

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I’ll rather pay a bit extra for good service, than cheap and get horrendous, but when it comes to some things there is no option. It’s either cheap or expensive, like flights. So with a flight I go for cheap and hope it all goes well.

Its like people that use a company like Talk Talk its cheap for a reason. For an extra £2 a month you could get a better service elsewhere. Talk Talk often offer its broadband prices at a loss, because it makes money with people in a contract from TV and so on.

The fact its offering a service at a loss, most people have no idea about, but its not possible to have good customer service constantly having a service that loses you money.

(sam) #12

Vote with your feet. If you get poor service, use someone else.
I’ve had brilliant service from some companies lately.
I had a bathroom delivered from plumbworld, bath was cracked. New one sent next day. Walls and floors sent me some tiles, a box of them were chipped, they couriered some next day, individually wrapped. It’s this that will make me use them again.
I think it’s correct that comparison sites have made price the determining factor when it really should be value. Most people would rather pay a tiny bit more for better service.
IKEA happily refunded me items I changed my mind on, even though I’d removed packaging.


This is why Amazon has my business still. A product was of pretty low quality (screen protector because I wasn’t paying 15£ for the one OnePlus sell!) and Amazon at first said I need to ship it out, but once I agreed (obviously them checking if I’m genuinely making a complaint) they said I don’t need to worry about it.

This is also why I won’t likely get a OnePlus phone again though. I got very angry that their screen protector was trash and threw it in the bin and they basically told me to send them a photo or GTFO (even though others on the forum was complaining of the same issue as I, it didn’t fit properly on the screen) I complained to every customer support representative in sight and kept getting through the chain at 2AM, only to give up. I’ll never give them a penny of my money unless they change this shit policy, or give me my £15-20 for that screen protector back.


So today I’ve had to contact 4 companies, and 3 banks about things. None have been complaints.

Starling 13:40 No reply as of yet

Curve 19:07 last night, reply at 08:47 this morning, I replied at 17:56 no reply yet.

Barclays 09:42 reply at 10:48

National Rail 07:32 No reply as of yet

Oxfam 11:43 reply as 11:58

DPD 13:23 reply at 15:54

ICO 09:32 reply at 13:23

In general the times are good, Starling I would have expected a reply by now.

National Rail if I get a reply this week, that will be good.

One thing I’ve noticed Curve made a thing about getting customer service wrong and they have worked hard to get it on track, I find the times reasonable for them.

Oxfam which is a major charity, can still reply quick and with a decent reply.

Barclays was as expected, fast.

DPD I was surprised to get a reply today, normally it takes longer.

The ICO have always been efficient considering its a regulator.


I’ve been waiting like 5 years to get a reply to Yodel and they’ve not even acknowledged my contact yet :slight_smile:

(Dan Mullen) #16

At this point @Recchan I don’t think they’re going to get back to you… :joy:


There does seem to be a decline in service recently with a lot of companies. It’s also a shame that often the only way to get things resolved is to tweet them.

Vodafone are the worst one I deal with. Terrible customer services, however if you need anything, their social media team seem to be the only dept capable of resolving any issue.

American Express seems to have gone down hill too. They might answer all calls in the UK, but issues are just emailed to “back office” offshore, and they seem incapable of doing anything themselves except read responses from the non customer facing offshore teams.

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This is such a pain! The only thing I use twitter for is to get things resolved. It really annoys me.

(Chicken Nuggets Are Bae) #19

I love making complaints, I called Barclaycard to change a DD, they could not do it on the 1st I complained and they gave me £25 lol

(Dan Mullen) #20

I have four contracts with Three (me, wife, daughter, broadband). I took out the broadband one recently and had a nightmare trying to get the payment date changed. Never had an issue like it before - multiple phone calls, broken promises… I just couldn’t get it changed to the date I wanted. It’s now sorted but I’ve had three goodwill credits applied totalling almost £50, which is two and add half months’ service!