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World Consumer Rights Day 2023: 5 common problems customers face when shopping online

Updated on: 14 March,2023 08:41 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

While many people opt to shop online, it is not always easy and many people can face a variety of issues. As consumers, one must be aware of some of the challenges we could face while shopping online

World Consumer Rights Day 2023: 5 common problems customers face when shopping online

Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

Have you ever been greeted by an over-friendly salesperson who makes you want to instantly run away from the store? Shopping from malls or stores can be intimidating due to such varied reasons. As a result, online shopping is a blessing in disguise. It lets you shop from within the comfort of your home at any point of time, and for however long you want. Online shopping, today, is a one-stop solution for all our shopping requirements. Does this necessarily mean the process of online shopping is free of all hurdles? Well, definitely not. 

On this World Consumer Rights Day 2023, let's get to know some of the most common problems customers face while shopping online.

Quality Issue
Unlike shopping from the store where customers can be sure of the product’s quality, online shopping lacks this option. Customers simply have to rely on the pictures and information provided by the e-commerce website/application. Further, reviews by other customers might also not always be reliable. What might be of good quality to some customer, might be of average quality to you. In such a case, it is always best to purchase products from your trusted brands. 

Poor customer support
Most e-commerce websites lack efficient customer support. They are many times left waiting for a solution, but to no avail. Very few websites offer customer helpline numbers or chat support. In such a case, they might not know the right actions to take. Issues like damaged products, refunds, exchanges, or product returns remain unattended.  

Product delivery 
Although e-commerce platforms offer the delivery tracking features, the time taken to deliver the product is always unclear. Further, it takes almost a week for the purchased product to be delivered. This is the same scenario when returning or exchanging the products. Online shopping is a complete no-no when you have to make an immediate purchase. Another common issue is faced by those living in tier-3 cities where many e-commerce platforms don’t deliver.   

Payment issues 
There is no doubt that digital payments have brought about a revolutionary change in the way we carry out transactions. Nevertheless, issues like poor network connectivity or technical glitches do spoil the online shopping experience at times. Customers often complain about the money getting debited from their account and the order not getting placed or failure in payment. Further, the process to retrieve the amount takes ‘7-10’ working days. In the worst cases, the money fails to get refunded to the customer’s account. To avoid this hassle, cash on delivery is the safest option at customer’s disposal. 

Heavy shipping/delivery charges
Have you ever felt that the shipping charges were higher than the cost of the product? Heavy shipping charges are a key factor behind customers ditching online shopping altogether. It is simply money going down the drain. Customers have started preferring going to the stores to purchase items or visiting malls for shopping.  

While these are common problems each of us face, there are many such issues like glitches in the interface, complicated user interface, lack of payment options, cyber security, incorrect or misleading product display and information, etc. that are discouraging us from shopping online. 

Although tempting and convenient, online shopping must be done wisely and only when necessary. 

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