Complaints about services up 20%

Hu Min
The incident where a woman who bought a Mercedes found it leaking oil sparks huge rise in cases involving automobiles.
Hu Min

Transportation, culture, entertainment and sports, and education training topped the list of complaints in terms of services in the first six months, Shanghai Consumer Council said on Tuesday. 

Consumer councils citywide received 97,678 complaints between January and June, a rise of 19.9 percent from the same period last year, according to the council. 

Product complaints accounted for 39.5 percent, with clothing, vehicles and home appliances the most complained about. The remaining 60.5 percent were all related to services. 

There was a significant rise in complaints about automobiles after a case in Xi'an, the council said. 

A woman who bought a Mercedes-Benz CLS300 from Xi’an Lizhixing Co found the engine leaking oil after she picked it up in March. She also claimed she had been cheated over a “financial service fee.”

The council received 4,607 complaints about automobiles and parts in the six-month period, up 61.9 percent on the same period last year.

Fake discounts to trick consumers into buying also angered consumers, the council said. 

Some businesses used free products and services to attract buyers, but their value had been exaggerated and their quality could not be guaranteed, the council said. 

There were also complaints about the quality of key components such as engines, clutch and transmission, including oil leaks. 

The council received 55,414 complaints about online sales, a rise of 42.1 percent. 

Product quality, including fake products, after-sales services, logistics and delivery, refunds and fake promotions were the major areas of complaint. 

Another 6,995 complaints were related to prepaid cards, an increase of 31.9 percent.

They covered areas such as education training, housing rental, fitness, beauty and hairdressing, the council said. 

A combination of prepaid consumption and loans was emerging and posing potential financial hazards, said Tang Jiansheng, the council’s deputy secretary-general. 

Some prepaid card businesses recommended or used discounts to lure consumers into loans with partner financial institutions, and in some cases, consumers were not aware of the risks involved, he said. 

Shared bikes were a hot topic, with 8,609 complaints between January and June, a surge of 239.7 percent. 

Delays in returning deposits, abnormal charges and poor after-sales services were most complained about, the council said. 

There were more than 400 complaints involved shared cars, with breakdowns during driving, handling of traffic accidents or violations and car return spot disputes causing concern, the council said. 

Tourism brought 7,300 complaints about tours, air tickets, accommodation and railway tickets. 

Random changes in tour programs, times, hotels and catering, unreasonable tour arrangements and guide services, charges to change or refund air fares, and cancellation of hotel bookings were some of the problems, the council said. 

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