A new survey suggests that for many disgruntled UK consumers, social media is the perfect outlet for receiving a response to complaints.

Of 2,000 people surveyed by Fishburn Hedges and Echo Research, 65% said they preferred to use social media to express their dissatisfaction with a company rather than dealing direct with a call centre.

Meanwhile, when asked if, during April this year, they had made contact with a major organisation via social media in order to complain, 36% of respondents said they had.

There were however noticeable differences between age groups.

50% of those surveyed in the 18 to 24 age group said that in April they had used social media to get in touch with major brands to make a complaint. The comparative figure for those in the 55 and over age bracket, however, was just 27%.

Commenting on the survey’s findings, head of innovation at Fishburn Hedges and Echo, Eva Keogan, said that customers often benefited from “VIP treatment from brands on social media”.

On a positive note, Keogan added that “social media can bring a business and its customers much closer”.

Meanwhile, the British Retail Consortium’s Richard Dodd, advised that companies might have to be prepared to take on more staff to deal with this increased customer contact. He said:

“If you are actively engaging in social media you are setting up an expectation amongst customers that they will receive a response, so you have to be geared up to fulfil those expectations.”