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22 September 2015, 06:00
People in Scotland are less likely to complain about a product or services than those in the rest of the UK, with only 36% following up a problem (compared to 48% across the UK) according to new research issued by one of the UK's leading providers of dispute resolution services.
The Consumer Action Monitor, carried out in Scotland for the first time by Ombudsman Services, found that more than a half of Scots (56%) had an issue with a product of service at least once during 2014, representing more than 2.3m people.
The retail sector is the most likely to be on the receiving end of gripes from Scottish consumers, attracting nearly a third (31%) of all complaints from Scots. The next sectors most likely to attract complaints from the Scottish public were Energy (12%), Banking (8%) and Telecoms (6%).
In 2014, Ombudsman Services handled 6886 cases from Scotland, more than double the number (2972) from 2013.
The report also found people in South of Scotland were the most likely to complain, whilst people most likely to "grin and bear it" were those in Lothian. People in North East Scotland made the most complaints in 2014, with 1.05 per head
Commenting on the publication of the report, Lewis Shand-Smith, Chief Executive of Ombudsman Services said: "This is the first time we have focussed on Scotland in our Consumer Action Monitor report which has
previously been carried out across the UK. The findings differ to research carried out in other areas of the UK, with Scots less prepared to complain with people elsewhere."
"In 2014, Ombudsman Services handled 6886 cases from Scotland, more than double the number (2972) from 2013. However, this isn't necessarily bad news as it could indicate greater awareness amongst Scottish consumers of how to complain effectively and ensure they receive the service they are entitled to."
"With the prospect of additional powers over consumer affairs issues being devolved to Holyrood by the Scotland Bill currently being debated at Westminster, we hope this data will also provide additional information
to those deciding how best to manage these issues in Scotland in future."
"Last month, we also launched a new Consumer Ombudsman Service across the UK and I would urge anyone in Scotland who feels their complaint has been poorly handled by a company to get in touch with our team and
see if we are able to assist."