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Consumers (27-07-2012)

Eurobarometer on service safety

This new survey aims to examine, for the first time, European consumers' perceptions and experiences with the safety of a range of specific services: accommodation, organised outdoor leisure activities, swimming pools, beauty and wellness centres and amusement parks and fairgrounds. Consumers are asked about their use of these services, their perception and experience about their safety and the occurrence of accidents causing injury while using these services. The survey looks into the causes and the consequences of accidents occurred during the provision of a service, and also whether consumers make official complaints following accidents.

A selection of the most striking results of the survey:

  • In general terms, reports of accidents causing injury while using services were low. Amongst respondents who had used at least one service 7% had experienced an accident in at least one type of service. Europeans were most likely to report an accident resulting in injury when using organised outdoor leisure activities (11%).
  • Most respondents (54%) said that accidents were caused by themselves, followed by the bad state of the premises/equipment (20%) and the incompetence of the service provider (16%).
  • Three in ten (31%) accidents involved a child under 15.
  • Fewer than one in ten (8%) consumes made an official complaint when they experienced an accident.
  • Europeans were unsure about the heating system and security against carbon monoxide leaks when using paid-for accommodation - one in five (22%) said they didn't know if these were safe.
  • Almost one in five (17%) European beauty centre visitors said that safety information was not displayed.
  • Nine out of ten (90%) European swimming pool users said the premises and equipment on their last visit were in good enough condition.

The main findings of this study provide us with very interesting and useful information which adds significant value to the existing knowledge base on service safety of the European Commission. Results can help shape policy making actions with the aim to improve the safety of the services provided to consumers across the European Union.