European Commission

Consumer Conditions
Scoreboard 2015

Consumers at home
in the Single Market

euro
basket
Consumers
generate wealth
EU
GDP
57% comes
from consumer spending.
Nearly 2% from online spending.

Half of Europeans shop online

Why?

Where?

49%

Convenience

For the flexibility
of ordering at any time.
49%

Price

To save money.
36%

Choice

For more choice.

61%
Feel confident buying
from a site in their own country.
38%
Are confident
about buying online from another
EU country.
15%
Buy from another
EU country.

Percentage of consumers purchasing online in 2014

79%

UK

The digital gap

10%

Romania

Percentage of online shoppers who purchased or accessed products
online from another EU country in 2014 and top countries of purchase/access

Percentage of online shoppers who purchased or accessed products online from another EU country

39 44 49 53 58 66 72 84 91 96

But do consumers know their rights?

scale

Case 1: Unrequested goods

You have received a DVD by post that you didn't order along with an invoice for €15.
Do you have to pay the bill?

A

No, provided that you return the DVD.

B

No, and you don't have to send the DVD back either.

C

Yes, you have to pay the bill.

CORRECT ANSWER B

You do not have to send back or pay for products you have not ordered.

33%

of consumers got this right.

Case 2: Guarantees

The electronic product that you bought 18 months ago has broken. You are not to blame, however you didn't buy or benefit from any extended guarantee. Do you have the right to get it repaired or replaced for free?

A

Yes.

B

No.

C

It depends on the product.

CORRECT ANSWER A

You have a legal right to a free guarantee of a minimum of two years to have faulty goods replaced or repaired free of charge. It is valid across the EU.

41%

of consumers got this right.

Case 3: Cooling-off periods

You've just bought a new electronic product online, however you're not sure now that you really like it.
Can you send it back once it has been delivered and get your money back, even if there is nothing wrong with it?

A

Yes.

B

No.

C

It depends on the product.

CORRECT ANSWER A

You have 14 days to return things purchased online, by post or by phone. You are entitled to a full refund, no questions asked. You may have to pay the postage though.

56%

of consumers got this right.

9%

of consumers got all three questions right

Who and what
do consumers trust?

Levels of trust are higher
in Western and Northern
European countries.

market

Businesses

71%

Think businesses respect
consumer rights

horse

Non-food products

69%

Believe that most non-food
products are safe.

recycling

Environmental claims

54%

Think most environmental
claims are reliable.

What catches consumers out?

Telesalesphone

42%

Felt pressurised by persistent calls urging them
to buy something or sign a contract.

Time-limited offersegg timer

30%

Fell victim to false claims in adverts that
products were available for a limited time.

False freebiesmedal

26%

Have been offered a product advertised as free of charge
which actually cost money.

What do consumers do
when things go wrong?

Take action:
76%

Satisfaction ratings

Out-of-court bodies

68%

Retailers/providers

61%

Manufacturers

59%

Public authorities

59%

Courts

45%

Do nothing:
24%

Why?

Result will be unsatisfactory

40%

Will take too long

38%

Sums too small

34%

Don't know how or where
to complain

23%

Get a problem? Help is at hand

Shopping online or from
another EU country?

Settle the dispute out of court
thanks to new EU rules.

Want to discuss
your rights and options?

Contact the European Consumer Centre
nearest you.

Need to settle a small
claim in another EU country?

Use the EU small claims procedure.