Third of businesses unaware of their rights when dealing with customer complaints

01 August 2007 by
Third of businesses unaware of their rights when dealing with customer complaints

Almost one third of hospitality operators are in the dark about their rights when it comes to dealing with awkward customers, a survey suggests.

According to research from purchasing consortium Beacon, nearly half (43%) of businesses feel the level of complaints is on the rise with British consumers increasingly becoming less afraid of "making a scene".

One in 10 says that customers refusing to pay for food, drinks or accommodation has become an increasing problem.

But despite customers becoming more vocal, nearly two thirds (65%) of businesses believe that standards of service in the industry are getting better.

Diane Webster, head of sales and marketing at Beacon, said: "As the consensus is that standards are rising, the hospitality industry should be careful to differentiate between genuine complaints, and dishonest claims."

She added: "It is essential that business-owners and managers know where they stand and what their rights are, in the same way that customers are beginning to."

Beacon advises that if a customer is refusing to pay managers should take down their name and address and fill in a small claims track form to get the money back.

Waiting for food is most common complaint by UK diners >>

Independents are best at dealing with complaints >>

Handling customer complaints >>

By Kerstin Kühn

E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.

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