A survey of 1,000 members of the public, carried out by alldayPA, found that more than three-quarters (76 per cent) had been frustrated by businesses refusing to apologise for problems, while just under half (47 per cent) of respondents said they had personally been blamed for the complaints they had made.
Holiday companies were found to be the worst at dealing with customer complaints, cited by 31 per cent of respondents, followed by utility providers (26 per cent), banks (21 per cent) and delivery companies (20 per cent).
The telephone was the most common way of making complaints, but 68 per cent of respondents said they had experienced rude and unhelpful call handlers with more than half (55 per cent) frustrated by automated call menus.
Sue Ratcliffe, spokesperson at alldayPA, said: "It’s important to strike the right balance so customers feel you are listening and doing your best to help them.
"Key to this is training staff on how to deal with complaints, especially when customers are angry and needing to let off steam. With many companies using websites and automated call menus to deal with many customer interactions, it seems the art of listening to complaints may be under threat."