COVID-19 leads to a big jump in consumer complaints

Hu Min
The number of complaints to the Shanghai Consumer Council went up by 42.8 percent to 327,950 last year. Many of these were about delivery services because of the pandemic.
Hu Min

The number of complaints received by the Shanghai Consumer Council increased by 42.8 percent from a year earlier, with the pandemic causing an increase in complaints regarding express delivery services.

The council received a total of 327,950 complaints, with commodities accounting for 45.6 percent and the rest for services. Clothing, household appliances, Internet service and transportation were among those on the list.

The number of complaints about smart home gadgets like robot vacuums and massage chairs went up by a significant 44.4 percent. According to the council, poor support service, operation failures, and repair and maintenance service infuriated consumers.

The council said that the number of complaints about express delivery service has gone up because of COVID-19.

It received 19,231 complaints about deliveries, a 1.2-fold increase compared with the previous year.

Consumers complained of slow delivery, damaged packages and poor customer service. Several of them said that delivery personnel placed their packages in lockers or at transit stations without their permission.

Education and training institution refund failures or roadblocks were another major source of complaints, generating 15,924 reports. According to the council, some institutions had closed without giving refunds.

Also included on the list were disputes involving Internet gaming and medical cosmetology services.

Complaints about automobiles increased by 36.8 percent to nearly 10,000, with pricing issues, software system updates, battery failure, and charging piles-related issues generating the most ire.

Last year, the council received 2,100 complaints regarding pets and related products, tripling the number from the previous year.

Some customers said that their pets got sick or died soon after they brought them home. The council said that other problems included misleading web advertising, poor quality, and not being able to find out who was at fault.

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