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UK among biggest ecommerce complainers in Europe

If consumers in Europe have a problem with something they’ve bought online, they can use the Online Dispute Resolution of the European Commission to try to reach an out-of-court settlement. Most complaints came from Germany, but per capita the United Kingdom is one of the biggest complainers about online purchases.


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In February last year, the European Commission launched the Online Dispute Resolution Platform, aimed to help online shoppers settling disputes with merchants across Europe. Although the platform got off on the wrong foot, it is now alive and kicking. The website now features a table with the number of complaints by country.

Table of complaints.

This table shows all complaints submitted to the Online Dispute Platform and displays the amount of complaints per country. Here you can also see how many complaints are directed towards online merchants from other European countries. For example, there were – at the time of writing – 77 complaints from Austrian consumers about Austrian traders, while there were 288 complaints from Austrian consumers about German traders.

Malta, Estonia and the United Kingdom

We’ve analyzed the data and found that although most complaints come from online consumers in Germany, per capita Malta, Estonia and the United Kingdom are the countries where most complaints come from.  The European Commission registered 46 complaints from Malta and with 415,196 inhabitants (July 2016 estimates from the CIA’s The World Factbook) it means 0.011 percent of the Malta population has filed a complaint via the Online Dispute Resolution platform. In Estonia, it’s also 0.011 percent that complained, while in the UK there were 6659 complaints, meaning 0.01 percent of the population filed a complaint.

Until now there have been submitted a total of over 26,000 complaints via the Online Dispute Resolution platform. Almost two in three complaints (61.56 percent) were national complaints, while consumers in Europe complained the most about clothing and footwear, airlines, ICT goods, mobile telephone services and electronic goods.

Complaints per sector
Click on the image for the fullsize version.