Grinding Gears

Everyone loves to have a good old whinge once in a while. It’s a fact of life. Have you ever subjected your imaginary car passengers to an endless tirade because some moron cut you off in traffic? Have you ever angrily told someone to pipe down while commuting in the train’s designated quiet carriage? If you answered yes to both, you might be a serial complainer.

Now, I’m not sure if congratulations are in order for that title. Sometimes complaining can border on rudeness, or straight up road rage. But some might defend the serial complainer. Aren’t they just standing up for consumer rights? Aren’t they just telling it like it is? Complainers are the ones making change, they’re sticking it to the universe, they’re taking control!



Australians are cottoning on to the benefits of complaining. More and more of us are becoming serial complainers. Even the insurance industry is feeling the wrath of complaining. According to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) Australia, they received a record number of general insurance disputes in 2016-17.

The FOS received nearly 40, 000 disputes in the period, which was a 16% increase from last year.

Lead Ombudsman, General Insurance, John Price told Insurance News that the general insurance industry is largely responsible for the significant level of increase in complaints received at FOS. He said the rise coincides with increased outsourcing of claims handling, higher claims numbers and increased consumer empowerment through social media.

The loss adjusters at FT Adjusting know that service is paramount, and that a satisfied customer is likely to be a repeat customer. But consumer empowerment is a powerful thing. With social media, consumers are able to interact with, and simultaneously put pressure on companies like never before. Of course, bear in mind that social media is also used for trivial things like Instagramming lattes and mundane status updates. When something’s grinding your gears, it seems that social media is all ears.

Words by Skye Jamieson