When business partners André Chapman and Joe Baio asked their secretary to query a £300 bill from one of the company’s utility providers it took a staggering 90 hours to resolve. And the business partners aren’t alone – 81% of complaints received by the Ombudsman Services in 2011/12 were still unresolved after eight weeks, the time by which suppliers should have resolved the complaints.
Today, however, the two entrepreneurs have become consumer champions and launched a new, free online complaints system that means householders will not have to go through the same experience.
ToucanTom.com is set to transform complaints handling by service providers in giving them a transparent and effective way to deal efficiently with the millions of queries they receive from their customers every year.
Up to now, if consumers felt that their complaint had not been resolved satisfactorily, it would have been dependent on the customer to take it up with the relevant industry Ombudsman. Research has shown that very few people –less than some 10% – take this route.
Why do people give up? Because it takes time, money and energy to pursue a complaint, three things most of us have in short supply these days.
ToucanTom.com provides an easy online system that does it all for you. Once you have logged your complaint online, the service provider is alerted to the query and can respond to address it. The consumer then can either close the query or reply to the service provider. If the complaint isn’t closed by the consumer within the industry guidelines, the query is then locked and sent to the respective industry’s ombudsman for review.
ToucanTom.com can deal with issues with a range of service providers and sectors, from incorrect billing and termination fees to poor broadband speed and mobile phone reception. Key sectors include gas, electricity, water, broadband, telecoms and mobile communications.
Andre commented “Too often consumers are pushed for time to make a complaint and if they do, can find the whole process slow and cumbersome. You can get passed around departments and operators and, like us, it can take literally days and weeks to sort out. Consequently many give up along the way.
“ToucanTom.com is a one stop complaints system that literally does everything for you.”
Added Chapman: “At the same time we hope that service providers will welcome our solution, which can be linked free of charge to their complaints management systems . They can also use ToucanTom.com to obtain business critical data on the different types of complaints they are receiving and how well they are dealing with them. This offers them a great opportunity to drive up their own customer performance and drive down costs of managing complaints as everything is handled online.“
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