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Why are we Irish so reluctant to complain?

A big intention when I set up Value Ireland was to encourage Irish consumers to complain a little more, to stand up for themselves in the face of poor service and high prices. We believed there was no point in general complaining about “rip off Ireland” if people wouldn’t actually direct their complaints in the right direction.

I remember when I was younger always hoping that the ground would swallow me up any time it looked like my parents might want to complain to someone, particular in restaurants and hotels etc.

With the brashness of todays younger people, I would have thought that they’d be more vocal in expressing their feelings. Not what I saw last Thursday morning.

I was on the 19 bus into town, which normally has a large number of school girls on it as the route goes past their school. However, on this particular morning, the driver got a little confused and took the 19a route instead.

The schoolgirls noticed, started chattering amongst theirselves, but said absolutely nothing to the driver. He was approaching a roundabout and had his error been pointed out to him, he could have turned back. A couple of them went towards the driver, looking like they were going to say something, but he went past the roundabout and carried on on the 19a route.

So, instead of complaining/commenting to the bus driver about taking the wrong route, the schoolgirls preferred to have a much much longer walk to school than normal. Maybe when schools these days are teaching students about “consumer affairs”, they should include a lesson on how to complain – they can use the Value Ireland Tips on How to Complain if they like.

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