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EU — Consumers’ awareness and skills worryingly low, survey finds

April 12, 2011

Consumers’ awareness and skills worryingly low, survey finds
Source: Eurobarometer

According to a Eurobarometer study published today on the occasion of the 2011 European Consumer Summit, less than 50% of EU consumers surveyed felt confident, knowledgeable and protected as consumers. Empowered consumers find it easy to identify the best offer, know their rights and seek redress when things go wrong. Vulnerable consumers find it hard to understand the choices they face, don’t know their rights, suffer more problems and are unwilling to act when things go wrong. Detriment reported by consumers is estimated at around 0.4% of EU GDP with more than one fifth of EU consumers reporting a problem in the previous 12 months. Although most consumers do complain to retailers, most of those who do not get a satisfactory response take no further action. Significant numbers of consumers have problems making everyday calculations, understanding key information and in recognizing illegal sales practices or knowing their rights. A majority of respondents did not know their right to return, have repaired or replaced a faulty product.

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