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Industry Research : Brits Love to Moan about Bad Customer Service more than Wi-Fi, Cold and Brexit


Prolonged Brexit negotiations and pedestrians who stare at their phones rather than watching where they are walking have topped a list of our most common moans.

Researchers who polled 2,000 adults found the top 50 list of day-to-day grumbles also includes Wi-Fi not connecting, supermarket self-service tills and 'being overworked'.

Never being able to get a doctor’s appointment, endless spam emails and the terrible British weather also feature highly.

Smaller inconveniences such as waking up with bad hair, forgetting to buy milk and someone treading mud into your carpet, also made the list.

The research also revealed Brits admit to moaning three times a day on average about such things as bad customer service, receiving cold calls and queue jumpers.

One in six said they are most likely to whinge in the mornings, with traffic during their commute cited as the top complaint.

And one third think they moan less at the weekend.

Geoffrey Dennis of SPANA said: "Most people in the UK acknowledge that they complain about trivial matters on a regular basis.

"When we’re used to modern conveniences like Wi-Fi, home deliveries and air conditioning, it can be easy to forget that others have to deal with far greater problems every day.

"For people in Britain, everyday problems can seem like the end of the world – and most of us are guilty of complaining about things like bad weather, traffic or people pushing to the front of queues.''

The study also found millions prefer to moan in private, with 45 per cent waiting until they’re in the comfort of their own home before they let off steam.

One in five thinks that the stereotype of moaning Brits makes us seem miserable; while a third think it’s entertaining.

Despite being a nation of moaners, one fifth tend to block out others who moan about their ‘first world problems’.

Around four in 10 respondents said they whine more now that they are adults, with half confessing they feel better after getting things off their chest.

More than half agree there are far more many moaners today than there used to be.

Brits can’t make up their mind when it comes to the weather – half of adults polled said they moan when its rainy and cold; one third complain when it’s too hot.

And there’s no battle of the sexes when it comes to whinging, as people concur men and women moan an equal amount.

The biggest mood-changers include tiredness, being hungry and the weather, with current relationships, exercise and hormones cited as considerable factors.

But sometimes moaning works – four in 10 boast they have received money off their restaurant bill after complaining.

One in four people believe that if they moan enough about the price of things (such as homes, bus tickets, meals, etc) then something will eventually be done about it.

On the bright side, almost half of people polled reckon they could go the whole day without complaining.

Dennis added: "These kinds of inconveniences are so minor compared to the problems faced by many people and animals in the world’s poorest communities.

"Working animals in developing countries never complain, but they have every right to. These horses, donkeys and camels endure incredibly hard lives, carrying backbreaking loads in punishing conditions, without the food, water, rest and vital vet care they need."

"In developing countries, many working animals have to walk huge distances, pulling heavy loads across difficult terrain, working in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees.

"These animals often have no veterinary treatment available to them when they are sick or injured.''

''That’s why SPANA’s work is so important – preventing suffering and ensuring these hardworking animals receive the care they so urgently need."


Bad customer service
Getting cold-called / calls from unknown numbers
People pushing into queues
Being too cold
Waiting in for a delivery that doesn't turn up
Sitting in traffic
Wi-Fi not connecting
Litter and fly-tipping
The British weather
Being too hot
Noisy neighbours
Public transport being late
Lack of car parking spaces
The behaviour of teenagers and children
People who walk along staring at their phones
Spam emails - including GDPR opt-ins
Receiving a 'we missed you' card from a parcel courier
Door-to-door salespeople
Supermarket self-service tills / ''unexpected items in the bagging area'' alert
Brexit negotiations
Having no phone signal
New shoes that give you blisters
Never being able to get a doctor's appointment
Being hungry
People who don'tn hold doors open
Noisy eaters
People cancelling plans last minute
Someone parking outside your house in your 'space' / blocking your driveway
Having a runny nose
The lack of funding for the NHS
Hidden charges, such as airline baggage fees
Running out of phone battery
When a shop doesn't have your size in something you want
Discovering you are sitting behind a tall person at a concert
Forgetting plastic bags for shopping
Returning to work after holiday
Being overworked
Having to stand on public transport
The clocks changing / going to work in the dark in winter
Sky-high holiday prices during school holidays
Getting caught in the rain without an umbrella
Bad hair days
The price of clothes you've seen in a shop
House prices
Arriving at the dentist on time to find out they are running late
Leaving home without your phone
Someone spilling something on your carpet
Getting a bad haircut


Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

Today's Tip of the Day - Leadership Requires Listening

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Tuesday, January 1, 2019

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