Phoning Call Centres? Get through their menus quickly

I want to make a complaint.....If only I could get through.

How often do you complain when you feel that you have received bad service? Not as much as you should? You are not alone. A recent survey by reveals that only 25% of Brits complain when subject to poor customer service.  

Angry Face Phone58% of consumers don't bother to complain when they are unhappy with service they receive, because they feel that is is too much hassle.  32% of the consumers surveyed said that they have encountered rudeness during the complaining process, and over half cited that they faced obstructions when trying to complain. In today's corporate environment; companies say that their customers voices matter.  So why do those same companies make it difficult for us to talk to them about their service?

Making a complaint should be a simple and straightforward process. If the company you are with has treated you badly enough to prompt a complaint, they very least they can do is listen, and deal with the matter in a timely manner. However, this is often not the case.

PleasePress1 has taken a look at the automated menus for some of the largest and most popular companies on the site, and how easy it really is to get through to a complaints department. As with everything, there were good and bad sides to be seen.

PruHealth and Friends Provident Life & Pensions are two of the best, with no menu system to navigate and the caller being put straight through to the complaints department.  

However, customers of Churchill Insurance and Santander may wish to use alternative methods to complain, as their telephone menus leave a lot to be desired. The Santander Complaints line has an automated menu comprising of a mind boggling 54 options over 5 levels.

Similarly, a Car or Home insurance customer of Churchill would find no dedicated complaints line- merely a general  'Claims, Sales or Complaints' number, which subjects callers to 60 options over 5 levels.

And finally, the jewel in the crown of companies who make it difficult to complain, is the Post Office. On their own contact page they offer a dedicated telephone line for 'General Enquiries, Complaints or Feedback'. The only catch is, that despite 22 menu options being available, not one of them is specifically to 'make a complaint' . Our best suggestion is to pick the option to 'talk to an advisor'.

We'd like to hear your experiences of complaining to customer services. Have you found any companies to be particularly difficult to contact? Please let us know.

*Data accurate at time of publishing (June 2013). Menu options for examples given may have changed since*.

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