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People Prefer to Complain Online Rather than in Person

Most people prefer to complain using online methods, according to a new survey from Trustpilot, a review community for online shoppers. The national survey of 1,000 adults conducted by OnePoll found that 62% of Americans prefer online methods to complain when they’ve had a bad experience with a business, while 68% avoid personal confrontation when possible.

Nearly three out of four (74%) young adults 18-24 years old use online reviews to voice a grievance, the study found.

American men are more comfortable complaining in person (64%) than women (45%) – “American women feel that they can express themselves better online and find it embarrassing to complain in person,” according to the findings.

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While the biggest motivator for complaining in the UK – demonstrated by the same study fielded there – is to try to get an apology or refund, Americans claim they most want to help the company learn from the feedback and improve (80%). Another important driver for American complaints stems from the need to have their voice heard (78%).

While eBay and Amazon helped pioneer online reviews of both products and businesses, online shoppers now have a wealth of venues on which to complain – while the survey didn’t delve into people’s preferred websites on which to complain, simple observation shows social networking sites are an easy way for shoppers to complain about service they’ve received from a company, including brand and retail Facebook pages.

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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