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July 14, 2020

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Virus shapes city consumer complaints

Clothing, home appliances, transportation services, educational training and Internet services drew the most consumer complaints in the first half of this year, the Shanghai Consumer Council has said.

The council received 69,676 complaints between January and June, a drop of 28.7 percent from the same period last year. Among them, 16.4 percent were related to the coronavirus, involving products and services worth 111 million yuan (US$15.9 million).

More than 23,000 complaints were about products, while the rest involved services.

The number of complaints over tourism, air tickets, accommodation and education training soared under the impact of the pandemic, triggered by unreasonable commission charges, refund delays and service quality problems, the council said yesterday.

Meanwhile, various promotional activities launched by e-commerce platforms spurred demand, while also leading to a 39 percent rise in complaints regarding online shopping, according to the council.

Quality, discrepancies between promotions and actual products, and the cancellation of orders drew the most complaints.

The council had 10,494 complaints about transportation in the first half, among which 81 percent involved aviation.

High service fees and slow refunding processes were major complaints when consumers applied for refunds, and different refund policies of overseas airlines also drew criticism.

The council also received 5,625 complaints about online training, a rise of 21 percent from the same period last year.

Many consumers asked for refunds as they said education quality fell short of their expectations. Others complained that they were charged high service fees for refunds, the council revealed.

In addition, because many tourist attractions and parks require reservation for entry due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, there have been many ticketing disputes over failure to make reservation after payment was made, it added.


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