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Online shopping gets most complaints


08:21, March 05, 2013

ONLINE shopping, followed by after-sales service of home appliances and the quality of food products, topped the list of consumer complaints in 2012, the city's consumer rights watchdog said yesterday.

The Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission received about 16,000 complaints about online shopping last year, an increase of 45 percent from 2011, out of the total of 100,168 complaints it got.

Most were triggered by the change or cancellation of orders from online retailers and their failure to deliver products. Many involved low-price sale promotions.

Group purchase deals of Sony television sets at 96 yuan (US$15.48) each as well as a trip to Shaoxing in Zhejiang Province priced at 1 yuan were among the cases.

Online vendors of Adidas and Uniqlo drew 105 and 30 complaints, respectively, during a 24-hour promotion on November 11 after they canceled orders or refused to deliver products, arguing a technical failure caused orders to outstrip their sales limit.

Some 15,000 complaints were forwarded on home appliances, and a third of those were about after-sales service, the commission said.

The complaints were blamed on poor service, bumbling technicians and a mushrooming number of illegal home appliance repairs, it said.

As food safety concerns have grown, the number of related complaints has risen, especially regarding pastries and dairy products, it said. Most were about expired and mildewed food.

The number of tourism complaints is on the rise, with a 7.7 percent increase year on year.

Travel agencies and tourist guides were accused of false advertising, lowering accommodation standards, shortening tour times, cutting programs and changing schedules.

The commission also reminded consumers to be vigilant about prepaid cards for hair care.

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