Millions of shoppers have problems with online purchases

New Which? research reveals that nearly half (46%) of consumers who bought goods online over the last two years experienced a problem with their purchase.

The three most common problems with shopping online are deliveries arriving late (19%), goods being faulty or damaged on arrival (13%) and goods not arriving (12%). One in 10 (11%) had their delivery left outside their home without permission and 4% said they were charged an additional or unexpected fee when shopping online.

The most frequently mentioned online retailers that shoppers experienced problems with were Amazon (34%) and Ebay (29%).

Consumers are increasingly buying more goods online with around half (47%) saying they purchase more clothes and footwear online than they did two years ago. Nearly four in 10 (37%) say they buy more DVDs, games and CDs online and a third (33%) buy more electrical goods such as TVs and radios online than they did two years ago.

People can get clued up on their rights when shopping online by visiting the free Which? consumer rights website, launched a year ago. The site has step-by-step guides to help people know what they are entitled to and downloadable template letters to help them complain and get their money back.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

“With people increasingly shopping online and millions experiencing problems with their purchases, it is vital that consumers know their rights on late deliveries and faulty products. Our free consumer rights website helps people know what they’re entitled to and offers practical advice.”

Notes to editors

1.    Populus surveyed 2,102 UK adults online between 21st and 23rd February 2014. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all UK adults. Our survey showed that 46% of all UK adults have experienced a problem when shopping online in the last two years, when extrapolated for the whole UK population (50.2 million adults) this means that millions of UK adults have experienced problems. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

2.    Which? consumer rights website has helped tens of thousands of consumers with their shopping problems, with the site receiving more than 2.5 million visits since it was launched in February last year.

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