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Shoppers won’t complain about a purchase under £20 – but will hold a grudge

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UK shoppers lose £777m a year because they will only complain about problems with their online orders if they’re worth at least £20.

In a study, Keeping the faith: building trust in an online world, new online dispute resolution service provider Youstice and Goldsmiths University found that online shoppers would not make the effort to complain unless their purchase was worth £21.30 or more. But while lacklustre customer service might not trigger a complaint, it can spark a grudge: more than a third of respondents said they would return to a retailer they felt had treated them badly.

The study interviewed more than 3,000 consumers across Europe and found their shopping habits and behaviours were changing fast.

“Consumer decision-making has been transformed by online shopping, which has given consumers the ability to compare products and prices with ease,” said Patrick Fagan, associate lecturer at Goldsmiths University. “As a result, shoppers are a lot more sensitive to ‘barriers to purchase’ – that is, split-second reasons not to buy, like a lack of trust, poor feedback from other customers or prior bad experience with customer service.”

Zbynek Loebl, founder and chief executive of, said: “Today’s consumers have become increasingly savvy about what and where they purchase online. However it is clear from the report that they are losing out financially because retailers have acclimatised them to this acceptance by making a claim for refunds or exchanges difficult. The Youstice service is here to help consumers get a fair deal online regardless of how big or small the value is.” aims to provide provides online retailers around the world with a secure solution for resolving claims and disputes via a single tool that’s available on all devices.

Youstice says its is one solution to help retailers comply with European regulation that comes into effect in 2015 and will mean internet retailers must have an Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) systems in place for consumers.

Online trust in numbers

60% of UK shoppers told the report’s researchers they relied on previous customer feedback such as reviews when they made a purchase.

91% said they used a combination of previous feedback and searching online in areas such as forums or communities before making a purchase.

67% of British shoppers prefer to complain by email.

19% would complain in person, while 12% would turn to social media.

49% of British shoppers are more wary of shopping again wth a retailer that they’ve had a bad experience with.

40% would never return to the same retailer.

22% of UK shoppers don’t know the difference in their rights when buying online or in-store, even though online shoppers have more rights.

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