Bike-sharing, education, holidays prime sources of Shanghai consumer complaints

Poor bike-sharing services, dissatisfaction with educational institutions and problems with tourism packages and facilities were main sources of consumer complaints last year.

Xiangqi, Mobike and Ofo made the top three most complained shared-bike brands list last year, the Shanghai Consumer Council said yesterday. Complaints about bike-sharing services, education and training institutions and tourism packages and facilities were prime sources of consumer dissatisfaction among a total of 156,119 complaints the council received in 2017.

The council received a total 7,978 complaints about bike-sharing services last year, and delays in returning deposits, abnormal charge resulting from system problems and services drew the ire of users, it said.

Some users did not receive deposits after three months despite shared bikes operators promised refunds, council officials pointed out.

Sometimes, service providers charged users although the bikes they tried to unlock did not operate due to various problems or were returned after use, according to the council.

Failure to get a reply from shared bike operators via hotline and App when there was bike glitch or user injury also drew a lot of complaints, the council added.

Complaints about educational institutions

The council also received nearly 5,000 complaints over education training last year, up 71.5 percent compared with 2016. Foreign language, skills training and early childhood education had the largest number of complaints.

Some education training agencies charged large amounts of downpayment, and misled consumers with exaggerated promotions although they were short on proper facilities and teaching staff, said Tang Jiansheng, deputy secretary-general of the council.

They failed to provide promised services and changed contracts at random, and some even shut down, leaving parents in the lurch, he said.

Dissatisfaction with tourism facilities

Tourism was another hot bed for consumer dissatisfaction last year, said the council, which drew 6,029 complaints, up 54.8 percent from 2016.

Unsatisfactory accommodation, shortened or changed travel times and itineraries were the most complained areas, the council said.

Consumers also extensively complained about online shopping experiences, express delivery problems, financial services, home appliances, auto quality, prepaid cards and mobile phones last year, according to the commission.

The number of total complaints received last year marks a 27.5 percent rise from a year earlier.

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