47% Of Online Shoppers Wish To Resolve Complaints Online

March 2, 2009 by  

Webmaster NewsLondon – Nearly half of UK consumers (47 per cent) wish to handle complaints to a retailer directly through its website, according to 1&1 Internet Ltd, the world’s largest web host by active websites. The representative survey of 1600 UK consumers, commissioned by 1&1, concluded that consumers who opt for ecommerce are nowadays keen to sort after-sales issues online. This is in stark contrast to a further survey of 405 British companies that finds that only 17 per cent of businesses recognise the need for such facilities. The study also finds that 45 per cent of Britons actively seek retailers with online feedback facilities on their website as part of their buying decision. It would appear that UK businesses today are undervaluing the demand for online customer care.

Whilst it is widely reported that increasing numbers of Britons are choosing ecommerce over high street stores, 1&1’s ‘Customer Care For Online Business Survey’ reveals that a surprising proportion of consumers (47 per cent) now seek to use online communication to resolve their after sales issues, such as complaints. These consumers indicated that given the option, they would choose to utilise online tools on a retailer’s website for communicating with the retailer about a complaint. Interestingly, the desire to resolve complaints online increases with age, with 52 per cent of over 55 year olds wishing to leverage this as compared to only 42 per cent of 16-24 year olds. The preference to communicate with businesses online also varies with gender. Over half of men (52 per cent) are keen on the using online methods to resolve a complaint compared to only 43 per cent of women.

Oliver Mauss, CEO 1&1 Internet Ltd. said, “As more of us choose to make purchases online, there will be increased demand for online based after-sales functions such as complaints handling. Britons clearly value the speed and convenience of Internet-based options”.

Furthermore, the survey underlines how British consumers place a high importance on online communication. Some 45 per cent of those surveyed actively seek retailers with online dialogue or feedback facilities on their website when deciding which retailers to use.

These figures are in worrying contrast to a further survey of 405 UK companies that finds widespread apathy on the issue of online customer care and complaints handling. The vast majority of businesses (83 per cent) believe there to be no demand for a facility to submit a complaint directly from their website. Significantly, 1 in 3 businesses (36 per cent) believe there could be no benefit at all from adding facilities for web-based communication such as customer live-chat, feedback forms or customer rating tools onto their website. The research suggests that a large number of British firms under-value the importance that consumers now place upon online communication.

The need for Britain’s smaller online retailers to improve customer service levels can also be deduced. 1&1’s research shows that from the 82 per cent of consumers that have made a purchase from a small or medium sized business website, 1 in 4 (24 per cent) suffered at least one ‘negative’ overall experience. Some 64 per cent of shoppers have experienced negative emotions such as ‘stress’ or ‘concern’ at least once as a result of an online purchase. Consumers’ experiences of complaints to online SME retailers appear to vary with age. 28 per cent of online shoppers in the 16-24 age group reported having their complaint poorly handled, as compared to only 10 per cent of over 55 year olds.

Today, businesses have a number of options for using the Internet to enhance how they handle customer complaints. There is a variety of web-based tools available that can help facilitate online customer care and complaints resolution. The cost for a tool such as RatePoint (available with 1&1 web hosting) is remarkably low. For £6.99 a month+VAT, the tool helps a website owner strengthen customer support by providing the opportunity to engage in a meaningful dialogue with customers. Resolving complaints and receiving valuable customer feedback via RatePoint can not only improve customer service efficiency, but also lead to positive online ratings that will enhance a company’s online image.

Mauss added, “Having leveraged the Internet to win a customer, businesses have much to gain from taking simple steps to maintain that connection. In a challenging economy, enterprises that can resolve customer care issues swiftly online are likely to receive increased customer loyalty and spend”.

1&1 Internet, the world’s largest web host by known servers, is well placed to provide a high quality service, offering industry-leading connectivity via its own pan-European backbone. 1&1 currently holds over 7.8 million customer contracts worldwide and manages over 10 million domain names.

For more information on 1&1 Internet Ltd visit the website at

About 1&1 Internet Ltd
1&1 Internet Ltd based in Slough, west of London, is Europe’s No.1 web hosting and domain name registration company. 1&1 Internet Ltd is the UK arm of 1&1 Internet AG based in Germany (a subsidiary of United Internet Group, a public company with a market cap of more than 1 Billion GBP). 1&1 was established in 1988 and holds some 7.8 million British, German, French, Spanish, Austrian and US customer contracts and serves some 10 million domain names at its 55,000 server strong Data Centres. 1&1 prides itself on being the one-stop-shop for web solutions.

1&1 Internet Ltd entered the UK domain registration and web hosting market in June 2000. As a well funded profitable company, it is in a strong position to deliver a high quality service at low cost. 1&1 is an accredited Registrar with ICANN (.com), Nominet (, Afilias (.info) and NeuLevel (.biz).

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