Norwich City perform well in customer service league table

It may be the only league table published this year in which Ipswich Town appear above Norwich City - but the Canaries are still riding high when it comes to customer service.

A report published by the Football Supporters' Federation (FSF) criticises clubs across the country, saying customer care guidelines in the top two divisions were inadequate or out-of-date.

But Norwich City buck the trend scoring 29 points out of a possible 35 - only bettered in the Championship by Ipswich on 32 points and Derby County on 31.

In the Premiership, Tottenham scored 31 points, with Arsenal second on 23. Everton received no points.

The FSF looked at customer care guidelines, known as 'club charters'. Norwich's scored a maximum of five points in many categories including the charter being up-to-date and accessible and was let down only for not containing sufficient details about the Independent Football Ombudsman.

FSF spokesman Amanda Jacks said: 'Any other industry which had customers as loyal as football fans would be counting its lucky stars and doing everything possible to keep them happy.

'Sadly many clubs just pay lip service to their supporters - a truth reflected in the attitude to charters. It's quite obvious many documents had little thought put into them and were given very low priority by clubs.

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'Many fans face long waits before clubs reply to their emails or complaints, even when club websites promise swift turnaround times. It is very, very rare that a complaint we assist with has a swift and satisfactory response.'

Chris Wright, chairman of the Norwich City Independent Supporters Association, said: 'Traditionally there has been a good relationship between the club and fans. I hope the club will continue to value that relationship.

'When things are going well on the pitch, everybody is happy. But the club shouldn't be complacent because the moment we stop riding that wave, things could turn sour.

'At the moment the biggest concern is ticket prices. I have seen a number of letters, both from young people and pensioners, saying they cannot afford it. It is important that the club takes these complaints seriously.'

Every club charter was rated 0-5 across a range of categories encompassing accessibility, timeliness, quality, clarity of complaints procedure, appeals process, and contacts for the relevant league and Independent Football Ombudsman.

The FSF's research found that many club charters were out of date and so generic as to be almost meaningless - some clubs do not even include the contact names of key club personnel on their website.