Although this does seem like a lot of additional irate customers for one year – the number of complaints went up to 1,396 from 994 year-on-year – part of it can be justified.
According to CASE executive director Seah Seng Choon, certain unforeseeable events, such as the flooding in Thailand and the catastrophic Japanese earthquake led to several cancellations. Other factors were also mentioned by Choon, including the general increase in the number of Singaporean travelers and the large number of online promotions last year.
NATAS (National Association of Travel Agents Singapore) chairman Robert Khoo is looking to curb this rise in complaints through standardizing travel agencies’ terms and conditions, hopefully by the end of 2012. This, according to Khoo, will potentially minimize the number of complaints due to unfair stipulations. He acknowledged the high number of travel agencies that force their agents to follow these practices, much to the chagrin of customers.
In other complaint-related statistics reported by CASE, the health care industry still remained the leader in terms of customer complaints, albeit barely. After recording 3,111 cases in 2010, this figure was nearly cut in half to 1,565 in 2011. This, according to Seah, was largely in part due to reforms conducted by CASE last year to improve wellness industry practices.
Unfortunately, the telecommunications industry saw their number of cases increase to 1,453, with smartphones and their associated applications and services rising in popularity.