PETALING JAYA: E-commerce continues to top the number of complaints received by the National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCCC), making up 7,371 (15.2%) of the total 48,563 complaints in 2016, with potential losses of RM5 million.

Its legal and policy senior manager Shabana Naseer Ahmad said this was largely due to consumers' lack of awareness on online shopping and the seller, an increasing number of unregistered small-time online businesses, and laws that needed major amendments.

Shabana said of the 7,371 complaints received, 34.4% were related to issues faced on the delivery of the purchased goods, where vendors fail to live up to their promises, including on the delivery time.

"In many cases where consumers tried to get a refund due to the delay, they were denied on grounds that the delays were beyond the seller's control," she said after launching the NCCC Annual Consumer Complaints Report 2016, here, today.


Scams recorded the second highest number of complaints received in relation to online shopping at 25.7%, while 11.3% of them were complaints on product quality.

Shabana said NCCC has sent a memorandum to the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK), urging them to amend and strengthen current laws to keep up with business trends.

Meanwhile, Shabana said consumers have incurred potential losses of RM255.6 million in the 48,563 complaints received last year, which was 4,113 (9.25%) more than in 2015, despite NCCC's best efforts to reduce the figure.

She said this was due to scammers always looking at new ways to cheat consumers, consumers' naivety in product purchases and the slow progress made by regulators in addressing the issue.

"The government is taking quite some time to amend the respective laws and come up with regulations. It's not to say they are not doing anything, but we are always playing catch up," she said.

Complaints received on general consumer products, telecommunications, automobile, and travel and leisure made up the top five number of complaints received last year with 6,578, 5,681, 3,874 and 3,458 cases respectively.

The report also noted that the highest total potential loss in value to consumers were those of automobiles, with RM79.1 million, followed by housing (RM54 million), general consumer product (RM22 million), banking and financial sector (RM19.6 million) and telecommunication (RM16.1 million).

Shabana advised consumers to always check a company's background before making any purchases, not to commit or sign documents that they are unsure of, not to give out personal details, and to keep proof of purchase for at least six months.

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