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19 February 2019

More consumers stung by poor service

Our survey shows a significant proportion of consumers lack knowledge about their rights.

Sixty-four percent of consumers experienced problems with goods or services last year, up from 56% in 2016, our latest survey shows.

Complaints about retailers failing to deliver goods and delays in delivery topped the list of problems. Thirty-one percent of shoppers said they’d experienced a delay in delivery or non-delivery of a product, up from 23% in 2016.

This rise is likely to reflect the increase in online trading. More of us are shopping online. But the jump in complaints indicates more of us are also getting stung by retailers that are providing poor service or may be scammers in disguise.

Complaints about goods and services that weren’t up to scratch was the second biggest problem reported by consumers.

Nearly one in four (24%) bought a product that didn’t work as expected, while 20% had work done by a trader that wasn’t up to standard.

Eighteen percent of consumers also reported being given misleading or incorrect information by a retailer, and 15% had problems getting a replacement or refund for a faulty product.

Retailers making misleading claims or failing to provide a remedy for a faulty product aren’t just providing bad service, they’re breaking the law.

The Fair Trading Act prohibits retailers from making false or misleading claims. The Consumers Guarantees Act also requires them to repair a product, or provide a refund or replacement, when it’s not of acceptable quality.

However, our survey shows a significant proportion of consumers lack knowledge about their rights. Twenty-five percent weren’t confident about their rights under consumer law. Thirty-eight percent also worried about being ripped off and being stuck with a dud product.

Download this table in PDF format here. (20.6 KB)

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