5 September 2016
The EU´s latest Consumer Markets Scoreboard published today indicates how the various markets perform from the point of view of consumers. The ratings given by Finnish respondents in most sectors are more positive compared to the previous survey. Consumers experienced the greatest difficulties in procuring pay channels, internet subscriptions, mobile telephone services and savings investments. It should be noted, though, that the ratings for the pay channel and mobile telephone service markets have considerably improved.
Finns exhibit a higher degree of satisfaction with many sectors than do consumers with similar markets in their own countries in the majority other EU countries. Finns give the mortgage market, for example, the best ratings in the EU. With regard to differences between countries, it should be noted that in some sectors the market structures vary considerably across countries. The Commission wishes to emphasise that there are still large differences in how consumers experience market performance in general and in certain sectors.
The Commission also draws attention to the fact that the financial situation and education of consumers affect their experiences and their ability to assess market performance. Consumers suffering from financial difficulties are more vulnerable to problems and, in particular, find it harder to switch suppliers than do other consumers. Citizens with a higher level of education are more critical of market practices than are other consumers, which is probably because they are better equipped to assess the market and identify potential problems.
The Consumer Scoreboard is based on surveys conducted in all the EU member states as well as in Norway and Iceland. The surveys charted the respondents´ experiences of market performance in 42 sectors. The respondents were requested to indicate whether they trusted the seller or supplier, whether it was possible and easy to compare products, whether they were satisfied with the number of options, whether the purchase met expectations and whether they came up against any problems or financial losses.
The 2016 Consumer Scoreboard data was collected in 2015 and 2013. The survey is thus carried out every two years. Five hundred consumers per sector from each country (250 per sector in the case of Luxembourg, Iceland, Malta and Cyprus), providing a representative demographic, were interviewed for the survey. The responses are not based on impressions but on experiences. Individuals who had actually made purchases in the sector in question during the previous year or, in the case of products seldom purchased, during the previous two years were sought as respondents.
2016 Consumer Markets Scoreboard: Market performance improved, but more efforts needed in telecoms and energy sector. European Commission press release, 5 September 2016
Anu Raijas, Head of Research, tel. +358 29 505 3650, firstname.lastname@example.org