15th November 2020

Online shopping complaints surge

A rise in online shopping due to the COVID lockdown has led to a spike in consumer complaints.


By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
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It has never been more crucial for the public to understand the consumer rights that protect them and the responsibilities of online retailers

A sharp increase in online consumer spending due to the COVID-19 lockdown is leading to a rise in consumer complaints about goods purchased on the internet. The Citizens Advice Consumer Service reports a near doubling of complaints from March to April 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019.

There will also likely be a record amount of electrical products purchased online this year, and Electrical Safety First warn that consumers should be extra vigilant when it comes to these kinds of products.

As part of National Consumer Week, which runs from 16-22 November 2020, CTSI has launched an advice video for the public which gives several essential tips on how to deal with online purchase problems.


Paul Ramsden, Executive Director at CTSI, said: “With December and the Christmas shopping rush approaching, we expect to see a further rise in online shopping activity. Due to the pandemic, many will do their Christmas shopping online for the first time while online shopping veterans will likely undertake more purchases online as a proportion of their shopping.

“It has never been more crucial for the public to understand the consumer rights that protect them and the responsibilities of online retailers. These protections enhance consumer confidence in business with the net effect of increased economic activity.

“CTSI is proud to take part in National Consumer Week, especially at a time when industry, consumers and regulators need to all pull together to help our economy recover from the pandemic.”

Lesley Rudd, Chief Executive of Electrical Safety First, commented: “Substandard electrical products pose a more significant risk than any other type, risking fire and electric shock. To give yourself peace of mind and ensure that your Christmas gift will only spark joy this season we urge consumers to stick to the stores or websites of trusted manufacturers and retailers, such as those found on the high street.”