During the pandemic, our NBC Consumer Investigative Center in Fort Worth logged 20% more complaints this year compared to the same time last year and saw more than 25,000 pandemic-related consumer complaints from viewers all over the country.
Was it just us?
It turns out the Better Business Bureau of North Central Texas says it also saw a nearly 11% increase in complaints through Sept. 30 of this year compared to the same period last year.
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BBB Spokesperson Monica Horton says many complaints involved the travel industry and retail during the pandemic.
“The consumer expectation and consumer demand basically changed overnight,” explained Horton. “We have heard from some retailers who were not prepared for the online volume of business that pivoted from their brick and mortar store and pivoted completely to online.”
Horton explained the complaints were often driven by a lack of communication from the business.
“We encourage businesses to communicate with their customers even if there’s going to be a delay,” said Horton. “It can help some of those problems in the future just keeping those lines of communication open.”
Christine Churchill, founder of the Customer Service Institute of America, helps train companies in customer service. She says there’s a trend towards efficiency that sometimes sacrifices customer care.
“Customer service is all about fundamentals, but unfortunately, just the way businesses often operate, those fundamentals get thrown out the window for efficiency,” explained Churchill.
Churchill adds that consumer demands may also be heightened during the pandemic.
“I think, sometimes, consumers can be unreasonable. But, I think what they want is to be recognized. They want to have an organization or the person you’re talking to understand what they need and to not feel like a number,” Churchill added.
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