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8th Consumer Scoreboard - December 2012

«Making markets work for consumers»

The 8th Consumer Scoreboard BG CS DA DE EL ES ET FR HU IT LT LV NL MT PL PT SK SL SV FI RO tracks consumer conditions in 51 markets, accounting for around 60% of the household expenditure.

Main findings:

  • Some key services markets continue to fail consumers, with banking, telecom and energy services all below average. Markets for investment products, mortgages and real estate services are the bottom three markets for a third year in a row.
  • Goods markets on the whole appear to be working considerably better in spite of poor results scored by the automotive, clothing and meat markets.
  • Compared with 2011, the markets for TV subscriptions and internet provision have improved the most. The largest drops in performance have been noted in the markets for postal services and local public transport.
  • Complaint bodies from around a third of Member States have started to collect complaints data according to the harmonised methodology set out in the 2010 Commission Recommendation.
  • Markets are assessed differently by different socio-demographic groups. Further research is needed to understand why.

As a follow-up, the European Commission will launch two in-depth studies:

  • The first study will focus on the market of second-hand cars, which ranks at the bottom of goods markets for the third consecutive year.
  • The second study will analyse the issue of consumer vulnerability, to develop a methodology for studying the mechanisms of vulnerability across different consumer markets and identifying effective policy responses.

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