Ryanair has been rated the worst firm for customer service out of 100 popular British brands.
Passengers with the low-cost airline were left feeling undervalued by unhelpful staff and miserable complaints handling, new Which? research reveals.
The survey of well-known companies reveals sharp differences between sectors with airlines, telecoms and energy providers performing most poorly – and brands such as British Airways, BT and British Gas languishing near the bottom of the rankings after letting customer service standards slide in recent years.
The consumer champion asked nearly 4,000 members of the public to rate how the companies make them feel, how helpful and knowledgeable their staff were, and how well they handled complaints.
Ryanair came bottom of the table, only managing a paltry customer service score of 45 per cent overall, with the lowest rating of one star in all three categories.
When asked about how well the airline handles complaints, half gave it the lowest rating possible.
Presented with a choice of 50 words to describe the airline, most of the airline’s passengers opted for ‘greedy’, ‘sneaky’ and ‘arrogant’, with one going as far as to say:
“Ryanair seem to make things deliberately difficult in order to make more money out of their customers.”
The other airlines included in the survey fared only slightly better. British Airways (66 per cent) found itself in 83rd place, a few spots under the highest-ranking airline included in the survey, easyJet (68 per cent), which came in 79th place.
Online bank First Direct took the top slot with an impressive customer service score of 89 per cent and customers who were overwhelmingly positive.
Harry Rose, editor of Which? Magazine, said: “While it’s good to see some familiar everyday brands flying the flag for great customer service, people spend a lot of money with their utility providers and on flights, so it’s disappointing to see some woeful performance across the board in those sectors.
“The best way to send a clear message to businesses about the importance of customer service is to spend your hard-earned cash with brands that make it a top priority – and don’t hesitate to complain if you feel you’ve been treated poorly.”