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Moaning minnies: complaining Brits!

mheredgemheredge WordsmithHere and therePosts: 25,707 mod
I laugh when French people tell me that they are a nation of complainers as the title must go to the Brits. However as Napoleon once said, ‘When people cease to complain, they cease to think’.

And it is a very well-worn cliché that Britons are obsessed with the weather. New research confirms this and shows that British users of the social network Twitter discuss the weather more often and more negatively than any other country, bringing an age-old predilection for meteorological moaning to the internet.

But if the British love to complain, we are not very good at it. Although we like a good whinge, we are more likely to moan at someone else than complain directly, through official channels or in a way that might actually fix things. In fact this scenario is all too common, where a couple are together in a restaurant, comparing how salty their soup is, how cold their kedgeree, when a waiter approaches. “Everything all right here?” they reply “Oh yes, fine, thank you.”



Apparently Brits moan most about poor customer service. Problems arising from online shopping seems to be the most grievance. Retail was the most complained about business sector, with telecoms providers including mobile, broadband and television services and close behind, energy companies accounting for the most dissatisfaction. It seems that online transactions, by removing human interaction from many purchases, lead to a greater chance of problems.

At the same time, some 20 million complaints or about a third of the total, were made online, showing the increase in influence of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook on consumer behaviour. However most complainants were not motivated principally by money, but were more concerned at receiving an apology than financial compensation.

Other popular topics of complaint include bad drivers, annoying cold callers, poor internet, the boss, and colleagues’ bad habits. Some complaint are frankly hilarious though, as these holiday complaints show:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/21/28-of-the-most-hilarious-complaints-from-brits-abroad/

Researchers found Brits grumble at least 11 times every day during the week and 16 times over the weekend. Apparently there will have been at least three moans before we even leave the house in the morning. In fact, a lot of British people admit that they have a groan about other people moaning or complaining.

But where the Brits excel is in how although they are happy to complain, they rarely go and do anything about whatever it is that they don't like.

Comments

  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 25,707 mod
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 25,707 mod
    I'm complaining about the rain!
  • mpassalampassala Posts: 124 ✭✭
    the video is really funny. I think that all people around the world like to complain about something, in particular if in front of someone else. I believe that It is in some way intrinsic of mankind. In my country, and especially in my hometown, people is by tradition more blunt and direct and i believe that in the same situation they would not have hidden their irritation to the waitress. On second thoughts probably people sitting on the other table are more similar to people of my town :wink:
  • BubblyBubbly Nightingale Posts: 30,007 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    We usually complain less but do a lot commentary on current affairs, politics, social life and even personal life of others. This is what I have observed everywhere in my city.
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 25,707 mod
    I think many Brits try not to complain officially, even if they like to have more of a grouse in private @Bubbly.
  • Shiny03Shiny03 Posts: 2,762 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I was laughing my head off.
    I know Brits complain the weather all the time, but these were too... :D

    "Too many people in Germany only spoke German."

    "There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners."
  • BubblyBubbly Nightingale Posts: 30,007 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge this trend is very common that people don't complain officially. The only issue behind is the rigmarole of registering a complaint.
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 25,707 mod
    I have a friend who regularly complains that he loves France @Shiny03, but it's a shame it is full of French people. I have to say, I complain more that there are too many Brits in France!

  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 4,677 mod
    I think that the brits do like to complain - but we are nowhere near as bad as other countries think they are. I guess stereotypes are always exaggerated to some extent, aren't they.
  • BubblyBubbly Nightingale Posts: 30,007 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    @GemmaRowlands it may be the set perceptions about Brits that overcome facts sometimes.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 4,677 mod
    Bubbly said:

    @GemmaRowlands it may be the set perceptions about Brits that overcome facts sometimes.

    Yes, that's probably the case. But I do certainly know of a lot of people who just aren't happy, no matter what happens in their lives!
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 25,707 mod
    I think that most people like to groan on about something. Whether it's grousing about the weather or having a moan about the traffic. But when it comes to how people complain, this is where there might be greater differences. The British like to have a good grumble, but its usually under their breath. On the other hand, the French might take to the streets to protest. Asian people tend to be more stoic about airing their complaints, but they still like to nitpick if the service isn't what they expect. Whether it is finding fault and criticising, or carping on and on about things, everyone likes having a good moan!
  • BubblyBubbly Nightingale Posts: 30,007 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge it says all! every country has its own style of doing certain complaints. Eastern countries are a bit loud and blunt when it comes to registering complaints.
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 25,707 mod
    I complained a little today when a guy pointed to where the bus was stationed. He pointed to a swing bridge, but there was a road bridge much closer. SO we headed for this only to find that it wasn't completed at the end and we had to walk all the way back to the other bridge. He was a local but could be bothered to tell us that the road bridge wasn't functional. Grrrrrr
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 4,677 mod
    mheredge said:

    I complained a little today when a guy pointed to where the bus was stationed. He pointed to a swing bridge, but there was a road bridge much closer. SO we headed for this only to find that it wasn't completed at the end and we had to walk all the way back to the other bridge. He was a local but could be bothered to tell us that the road bridge wasn't functional. Grrrrrr

    Oh, that is a pain. Where my cousins live there was a bridge that was damaged by flooding and that was closed for a long time - but unless you knew it was closed you would have to walk part way along it to find out! So that would be frustrating.
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 25,707 mod
    My moan of today was not having hot water this morning. The eccentric plumbing in the hotel means that one side of the building doesn't seem to be connected to the hot water, so they tried to tell me as an excuse. However after I complained, I was given a nice big bucket of steaming hot water and had an excellent bucket shower
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 25,707 mod
    It seems that the Brits tend to be passive-aggressive. They are certainly often not very vocal when something upsets them, but just let it stew. On the other hand, some people (like the French maybe), tend to be a lot more forthright and vocal in airing their complaints. Which is more healthy?

    https://aeon.co/essays/what-is-worse-a-passive-aggressive-silence-or-an-outright-shout?utm_source=pocket&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pockethits
This discussion has been closed.