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E-commerce complaints on the up

Scam fatigue

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The number of complaints about ecommerce and Net-related scams in on the up, according to a major consumer report published yesterday.

The twelfth annual consumer complaint survey conducted by the US' National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators (NACAA) and Consumer Federation of America (CFA) revealed that Net and e-commerce-related complaints made the top ten list for the first time last year.

The most common Internet/e-commerce complaint involved the buying of goods online. Topping the gripe-list were customers hacked off with the late delivery of their purchases and those incensed when the gear never showed up at all.

Internet auctions were also a major bugbear, with plenty of consumers complaining they had been ripped off by people flogging gear online.

ISPs also got a mention with Net users annoyed at being billed incorrectly. Complaints also focused on the failure of some ISP's to close accounts and discontinue services when requested.

And where would any self-respecting report into online scams be without a section dedicated specifically to, er, online scams?

Consumers have had enough of being bombarded with "Get Rich Quick" schemes and business opportunities, including the notorious Nigerian 419 spam, which continues to clog people's email boxes.

Indeed, the Florida Department of Banking and Finance reports that these scams are the fifth largest industry in Nigeria, accounting for more than $5 billion in illegal income for scammers. ®

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