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Business Observer Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021 1 year ago

Florida and Tampa top the nation in...complaining

Florida and some of its cities lead the country in complaints.

One has to wonder if this piece of news will make it into the tourism literature: Florida ranks among the worst states when it comes to customer service.

That’s right. People in the Sunshine State — paradise — aren’t thrilled about how they are being treated. And they aren’t keeping quiet about it.  

That’s the finding from a customer service study of cities and states conducted by, a Los Angeles-based telecommunications company. The study’s authors looked a Google trends and FCC complaints to find which cities and states had the unhappiest customers.

What they found is Florida had the third highest complaint rate, trailing only West Virginia and Maryland. And of the 10 cities with the worst customer service, four are right here in the land of sandy beaches, theme parks and boat parades. Orlando ranked No. 6, Jacksonville No.8, Miami No. 9 and Tampa No. 10. Pittsburgh was No. 1

So how did the study’s authors come to their conclusions?

According to a blog post on’s website, researchers looked at Google searches for “complaints number” as well as actual complaints between April 2020 and April 2021 for cities nationwide. Each city was given a score between one and 50 for complaints and a score between one and 50 based on searches. The higher the combined scores, the more complaints in that particular location.

The study did find that East Coast cities, where residents “tend to be more direct and outspoken,” topped the list of cities.

But are the results of this study necessarily bad news for Florida? One psychologist who the study’s authors shared the results with found those who complain most are often the most discerning.

Brian Wind, a clinical psychologist and chief clinical officer at JourneyPure, says “people with high self-confidence have been linked to a greater incidence of complaining because they think that if they complain and speak up, they’re
more likely to get what they want. Complaining may also be a way to show that they have high standards so that
other people won’t try to short-change them.”

“On the other hand,” Wind says, “some people might be chronic complainers out of habit.”


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