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Costs imposed by Supermarkets for Customer Complaints

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cazyncymru

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 08:20 PM

I use the services of the ICCA in order to do searches on persistent or proffessional complainers. It also has a forum / alerts for its members to discuss issues that are pertinent to the site.

One of the alerts that I have received in the last week or so, is that ASDA want to charge suppliers of "Branded" products a blanket cost of £70 in order to report a complaint. They currently already do this for their products. If I was to complain, as a consumer, then ASDA would probably refund me the cost of the goods, and offer me a goodwill payment of i'm guessing about £10 to £20. Once the other supermarkets get wind of this inflated charge, i'm sure that they will follow suit.

I'm intrigued to know of experiences from other countries.

caz x



Simon

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 09:48 PM

I myself being a reformed professional complainer am even more reformed now I’m aware of ICCA. Re the charge I suppose they need to cover the cost of their admin but personally I think charges encourage over vigilance. I know one company who gave their operators part of the haul. :lol: Guess what happened to complaints.


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a_andhika

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 11:06 AM

Dear Caz,

Hmmm, we dont have regulation that controlling how much refund should be given to the customer. It really depends on the supermarkets, or the company. But usually, they didnt give cashback. They will give similar product as the exchange, with a bigger quantity (of course).

But I heard some producers or sellers that ignore their customer complaints. Thats why we have a non-profit organization which accomodate the "ignored" customer. And sometimes it works well, but sometimes dont. I think its a very good idea to put it into a strict regulation.

BTW, I dunno about ICCA, do you mind to share it to me? Thanks.


Regards,


Arya


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Charles.C

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 07:33 PM

Dear all,

As a side-aspect, I once sat in as a "fly-on-the-wall" at the information post responding to the launch of a hotline number on various retail products. Periods of silence were interspersed by some obviously genuine queries / comments but also included a few distinctly disturbing calls. I can appreciate some necessity to subsidise / appease the "lucky" operator's subsequent peace of mind but how to evaluate ? It's an intriguing post, ICCA (?) hv clearly spotted a niche opportunity also, very clever :clap:

Rgds / Charles.C

added - similarly, I hv sometimes shadowed the shop situation for fast food operators in handling on-the-fly (no pun intended) customer's complaints. This is truly no easy function.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:17 PM

If there were no such thing as records or information sharing (the good old days :smile:)one could make quite a good living out of complaining about products purchased in supermarkets either directly to the supermarket or to the manufacturer where the contact details are provided on the packaging. It would take a long, long time to make a complaint to every supplier. For the cost of a stamp, envelope, paper, ink and the creation of several templates (maybe £1) I imagine one could make decent return (maybe £10 voucher), and people have hence individual databases and the newer services such as ICCA. Not that I condone anything but a genuine complaint.


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Marco

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 09:25 AM

Dear Caz,

I am finding myself having some issues with a supermarket where they charge us a variable amount of money for the same complaint and I don't know on what basis that is done.

The product I am monitoring is on sale at £4.95 and we get charged from £19 to £54 :dunno: .
And complaints are the like of "taste bad", "tasteless", "too hard".

I'm trying to understand but I think I'll be forced to give up neutralised by by the supermarket power. :crying:

Could you tell me a little bit more about this ICCA please?
Are they expensive?

Regards,
Marco



cazyncymru

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 04:43 PM

Hi Marco

the ICCA is an organisation run by Food Safety Professionals who have the joy of responding to customer complaints

They have a website (and i have posted a link there to this site)

http://www.icca.org.uk/

There is a charge, if i remember correctly its about £300 a year, and i must admit, its amazing how many professional complainers are out there. I've had a letter from one this week, who has in the past 2 years made 134 complaints to companies! Suffice to say, amount of compensation from me amounts to nil!

The ICCA produces a list of postcodes etc each day, so you can help build up your own database, but it also allows you the function of checking with all of the other companies that subscribe. People like Heinz, Premier, Dairy Crest, Arla, Mars etc are all members

with regards to how much i give complainers, it depends on the nature of their complaint.
A foreign body complaint, and i'll give £20 (on return of the foreign body)
Most others get £3 to £5 depending on how generous i feel!

I find if you challange people (ie prove by supplying BB dates etc) you soon weed out the genuine from the nutters.

Caz x



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Posted 06 February 2009 - 09:40 PM

Hello Caz,

Thanks for your answer and the link. :smile:

My actual problem is not really with the complaint itself but with the way the supermarket issues us with fees upon which we have no control whatsoever as they are charged straight to our account.

I already tried to get in touch with someone but no reply so far.

Do you have the same problem with this automatic systems?

All this situation goes back to someone else work and I am trying to understand/figure out things with very little information. :mellow:

Thanks,
Marco



sskubisnac

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 11:08 AM

Ever since I told my mother that Tesco charge a £25 'administration' fee per complaint, she demands the £25 when she makes a complaint. Can't get her to understand that the £25 will just be billed back to the supplier ..... PLUS the £25 admin fee!!

Doh!

Ss



johnmcmaster

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 11:44 AM

Complaints departments are self funding. They need complaints to justify their jobs.

I have been told recently by a major food service company that "we do not contact suppliers over complaints unless there is a foreign body or injury caused as we have too many complaints to keep our suppliers informed".

All we get is an invoice at the end of the month with little or no details on the nature of the complaint.

I did however, have a complaint from them that cost £75:00, because an unbaked product was "raw"!!

Are customers really that thick?





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