Korea Consumer Agency ‘2021 Koreas Consumer Market Evaluation Index’Mr. A, who filed a consumer damage relief with the Korea Consumer Agency, purchased an LCD TV and found a defect in the screen after 2 months of using it. He requested service from the manufacturer and repaired it, but the defect was repeated. He asked the manufacturer for repairs and returned the product. After 40 days, there was no contact from the manufacturer. When Mr. A contacted me first, the manufacturer replied that the supply of parts was delayed and that he would fix it soon. Mr. A did not trust the manufacturer and requested an exchange or refund, but was refused.
Mr. B bought a vacuum cleaner advertised as ‘s good enough to suck a golf ball. However, when using the product, the watermelon seeds were not properly absorbed. Mr. B requested a return due to insufficient performance. Seller informed me to bear the cost of return.
Home appliance consumer damage cases, ‘defective products’ are the most common
About 5 out of 10 reports of consumer damage to home appliances were found to be ‘defective products. On the 11th, the Korea Consumer Agency released “2021 Korea’s Consumer Market Evaluation Index” that evaluated the consumer-oriented level of the goods and services market.
According to the report, among the 4,382 cases of damage relief in the large home appliance market, such as refrigerators and air conditioners, received from 2018 to March last year, 2,222 cases of “function and malfunction/damage” accounted for 50.7%.
Lack of function was followed by 14.7%, delivery and installation 12.0%, delay or refusal of exchange or refund, penalty charge 6.0%, quality compensation and service 5.6%, and leakage, noise, and odor at 5.3%. There were 39 cases of fever, explosion and fire, accounting for 0.9%.
Table of Cases of Relief for Damages to Consumers of Large Home Appliances
In the small home appliance market such as microwave ovens and vacuum cleaners, “defective working products” accounted for the most at 49.2%. 495 out of 1,7 cases received during the same period. Others were followed by 13.5%, delay or refusal of exchanges and refunds at 10.6%, delivery at 6.9%, and quality compensation and service at 6.3%. Heat, explosions, and fires accounted for 4.0%, or 40, more than large household appliances.
Table of Cases of Relief for Consumer Damage of Small Appliances
Environmental home appliances, such as air purifiers and humidifiers, accounted for 41.8% of 154 out of 368 cases during the same period. After that, leakage, noise, vibration, and odor occurred at 15.2%, refund delay or refusal and penalties 14.9%, and quality bota and service 10.6%. Unlike large and small home appliances, “toxic substance detection” was 6.8% with 25 cases. Heat, explosion, and fire were 4 cases, accounting for 1.1%.
Table of Examples of Relief for Consumer Damage of Environmental Appliances
The research team of the Korea Consumer Agency, who wrote this report, announced that they processed text data related to consumer damage relief received from the Korea Consumer Agency over the past three years using machine learning to analyze consumer damage relief trends by market.
In addition, from May 14 to June 23 of last year, a total of 42 markets, including large, small, and environmental home appliances, were targeted for consumers over the age of 20 who purchased and used products and services by market. Variety of product choices and consumer orientation in the market etc were investigated. The sample for each market was 1,000, and the sampling error was ±0.478%p at the 95% confidence level.
■ “Even if you find a case of damage, you cant file a complaint”
Among small home appliance consumers who found a problem with the product, 31.2% fell into the category of ‘no complaints. 13.4% of consumers of large home appliances and 8.3% of consumers of environmental home appliances did not raise any concerns.
In particular, among the reasons why large and small home appliance consumers did not file complaints, 50.0% and 28.6% of the respondents answered “I did not know the route to raise a problem through the operator”, respectively.
In all 21 commodity markets, including meat, cosmetics, and used cars, 27.1% did not file any complaints. However, the biggest reason for not filing a complaint was that “the problem was not serious enough to complain” was 55.5%, which was different from the large and small home appliance market. ‘raising a problem to the operator had no effect, so it was followed by 29.1%.