Brussels, 22 October 2010
Investments, real estate and internet access among lowest ranking consumer markets
"Investments, pensions and securities", "real estate services" and "internet service provision" are the three markets most likely to be failing consumers across the EU, according to the autumn 2010 Consumer Markets Scoreboard published today. Among goods markets, "second-hand cars", "clothing and footwear" and meat have scored lowest. At the other end of the spectrum, airlines show good results in spite of the disruptions of spring 2010 and consumers also appreciate cultural goods and services. The Scoreboard ranks consumer markets by looking at indicators such as comparability, consumer trust, consumer satisfaction, problems, complaints, the ease of switching providers, prices, etc. The purpose is to identify markets that appear most at risk of malfunctioning, for follow-up studies, which analyse problems in-depth and identify policy responses. For the first time, the Scoreboard ranks as many as 50 different markets – from food to domestic appliances to car repair – in all EU countries.
EU Commissioner in charge of Health and Consumer Policy John Dalli said: "The great promise of the Single Market is what it can deliver for consumers in terms of lower prices, greater choice, transparency and satisfaction. Thanks to the Scoreboard we can pinpoint the markets where this does not seem to be happening". To conclude: "Our next steps will be to study two markets, internet service provision and meat, more in-depth and to encourage national authorities to use the results in their work".
The Consumer Markets Scoreboard is based on a market monitoring survey measuring the reported experienced and opinions of consumers with recent purchasing experience in each market. For the first time in 2010, it provides data for 50 consumer markets, accounting for over 60% of the consumer household budget.
The purpose of the Scoreboard is to identify markets which may be underperforming for consumers. This provides crucial evidence for policy follow-up, and feeds into the Commission's broader work monitoring the functioning of the Single Market.
The main markets ranking is based on a total score made up of the following indicators:
In addition, the Scoreboard also monitors:
Losses incurred by European consumers, as a result of problems for which they had cause for complaint, are estimated at approximately 0.3% of EU's GDP. This money could be better used to purchase efficient and innovative goods and services thereby providing the EU's economy with a much needed boost.
The European Commission will launch two market studies to investigate in-depth the reasons behind the findings and to identify policy remedies. The markets concerned are:
Full text of the Scoreboard: