Christmas complaints: more than 10,000 issues raised with Resolver

2 min read
January 10, 2022

More than 10,000 complaints were made using Resolver over the eight days of Christmas and New Year – with more than 400 on the day itself.

Shopping and delivery services took the lion’s share of complaints over Christmas, making up more than half the total, while travel agents and takeaways completed our top five most complained about services. The primary reason behind shopping complaints was delivery problems, which accounted for one in five complaints to online and physical shops, but product quality issues also made a significant appearance, as did problems concerning payments.

Resolver looked at the complaints raised by consumers between 24 and 31 December 2021. 

The 10,121 complaints made were down 25% on the same period in 2020, perhaps as a less restrictive Christmas in 2021 for many of us meant we had other priorities, but some areas saw increased volumes in issues raised.

Complaints to restaurants over Christmas 2021 almost doubled compared to Christmas 2020, while airlines saw a 13% rise year on year. Food quality problems accounted for more than one third of complaints to restaurants, while waiting time and delay problems dominated complaints made about flights over the eight days. 

Consumers also reported more complaints about gift cards and vouchers than in 2020, with numbers up a quarter on the previous year, while there were also a higher number of complaints (though smaller in number) made to train companies, ticket agencies and the DVLA during Christmas 2021. 

Christmas customer service

While most of the complaints raised over the Christmas period will arguably concern an element of feeling let down in terms of service, one in 10 complaints were specifically about customer service issues across all the 78 products and services featured in our research.

Our Christmas complaints data also showed:

  • More than a quarter of complaints raised over the eight days came from London and the South East, but more than one in 10 were in the North West of England.
  • Delivery and collection issues across the services in our analysis made up more than a quarter of the complaints, while product issues accounted for one in five of the total.
  • Complaints to the UK’s supermarket chains were down 20% compared to 2020, but of the  more than 500 raised to Resolver, more than one third concerned issues with products. 

Christmas Day complaints

On Christmas Day itself, Resolver saw complaints raised largely about shopping and delivery firms, with smaller numbers across travel services including flights and travel agents. But consumers took to Resolver to complain about more than 40 products and services, including online dating, private parking tickets, broadband, cinemas and even HMRC.

The highest daily volume of complaints over the eight days was on 29 December 2021, with more than 1,900 raised. These were again dominated by complaints made to shops and delivery companies, but was also the highest day for complaints to energy providers over the period.

Across sectors with heavier regulations, such as telecoms, finance and energy, complaints were down by just over 40% in Christmas 2021, with the complaints to financial providers including banks and credit card firms more than halved compared to Christmas 2020.

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