Which? response to the Public Administration Committee report on complaints in public services

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

“It’s essential for better public services that the Government makes it easier and more effective for people to complain. If complaints about bad experiences trigger action to put things right they can help prevent the same problem happening again to others.

“We have found that people often don’t speak up because they don’t think anything will change. Giving people a single point of contact, and having a minister who is responsible for complaints, should help give people more confidence that complaints do count.”


1. The ‘Make complaints count’ campaign is calling on the Government to pledge to be the champion of patients, parents and all users of public services by committing to:

  • Giving people a role in triggering inspections by regulators through their complaints

  • Giving people a unified public services ombudsman which can swiftly deal with their unresolved complaints

  • Giving people a voice by allowing representative groups to make super-complaints in our public services, as they do in private markets

  • People can support the campaign at www.which.co.uk/publicservices

2. Previous Which? research has found:

  • 34% of people who have experienced a problem with public services in the past year didn’t complain

  • 39% didn’t complain because they didn’t think it would be worth the effort

  • 32% didn’t complain because they didn’t think anything would be done

  • 75% would be more likely to complain if they knew it would result in direct action

  • 79% would be more likely to complain if they knew it would make a difference to other people’s experience

Methodology: Populus, on behalf of Which?, conducted an online survey of 4,132 UK adults between 19thand 23rd February 2014. Data were weighted to be representative of all UK adults. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by their rules.