Everyone complains: rich, poor, educated, old, young

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The Independent Online

According to a new study published on March 4 in the Journal of Consumer Affairs, a social science journal, everyone complains irrespective of age, education, income, gender and ethnicity.

No surprise people are equally annoyed if they are getting customer "disservice" after finding out a new product is damaged, warranty is invalid or doesn't cover the "problem."

Dennis E. Garrett, PhD, the dean of the marketing at Marquette University in Wisconsin, analyzed 24,000 complaints during a 13-year time frame and linked them with the income, ethnicity, age, and education of the complainer using U.S. Census Bureau data.

In the consumer satisfaction sphere, those that are poor, less educated, younger, minority consumers are defined as "disadvantaged" or "vulnerable." These groups did not live up to their labels when it came down to returning damaged goods or demanding refunds.

Garrett concluded, "we found that a consumer's level of education, age, and minority status were not strongly linked to their complaining behavior. However, consumers with lower incomes were less likely to complain as were consumers in rural areas."

If you are timid about speaking up or making a complaint, My3cents.com, a consumer support blog, recommends these easy effective tips: stay calm, act quickly, ask for a manager, be concise and know what you want. For more detail, go to: http://www.my3cents.com/consumerBlog.cgi?id=55

Full study, Are Consumers Disadvantaged or Vulnerable? An Examination of Consumer Complaints to the Better Business Bureau: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/123309943/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0