A new survey has identified social media as a key vehicle used by UK consumers for registering complaints. At the same time, however, the survey has also revealed that many of these complaints are not being responded to or even acknowledged.

The survey, by corporate telephone systems software organisation, Eptica, found that 26% of respondents claim to have increased the number of complaints they make to various companies now that they are able to do so through social network sites such as Facebook.

In regard to the type of company receiving complaints, retailers were found by the survey to have been criticised the most (cited by 21% of respondents), whilst banks came in at second place (criticised by 19% of those surveyed).

Regional variations were also identified in the survey.

33% of respondents in Northern Ireland, for example, said they had used social media to complain to telecommunications organisations; whilst 18% of those surveyed in Wales claiming to have criticised local government bodies via social media.

Likewise, gas companies were found to have incurred the wrath of 15% of Scottish respondents; whilst train companies bore the brunt of complaints from 14% of respondents in the South East.

However, across the UK, 83% of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the ways in which their complaints have been handled. Furthermore, 17.5% claimed to have been completely ignored by the companies and organisations concerned, with no reply or even acknowledgement having been received.

Commenting on the survey’s findings, Eptica’s Dee Roche said:

“Companies need to put in place a proper strategy for social customer service.”