Consumer issues which are now attracting attention
Part 1 : Trend in consumer issues and consumer's attitude / behavior
Chapter 1 : Results of information gathering and analysis on consumer accidents
Section 3 : Overview of consumer affairs consultations
Section 4 : Consumer issues which are now attracting attention
Consumer issues which are now attracting attention
- The number of consumer affairs consultations from elderly people reduced in 2019, but the ratio within the number of consultations continued to exceed 30% as with 2018.
- "Goods in general" stood out in the number of consultations for goods and services. Another major factor was internet-related consultations.
Examples of consultations by "elderly people"
- - Concluded a contract for optical communication with another company, being given false information that they were an affiliate company of a major mobile phone company in the current contract.
- - Elderly mother is purchasing marine products one after another through telephone soliciting.
- With consultations involving young people, "beauty" came to top not only for women but also for men. "Multi-purpose loan / consumer loan" is also high among people in their 20s.
- Mainly among young people but also in each age group, the number of consumer affairs consultations have been growing involving "subscription" and SNS.
Examples of consultations by "young people"
- An underage son bought depilatory from an ad on smartphone.
It resulted in itchiness and redness after using it, so he says he doesn't want to use it any more.
The same product was delivered today, and we found out that it was subscription.
- Number of consultations on "natural disasters" in 2019 was more than that of 2018 due to the 3 typhoons.
- Since August, areas affected by typhoons became top in the number of consultations per unit population.
PDF [Figure Ⅰ-1-4-5] [Figure Ⅰ-1-4-7]
Examples of consultations by "natural disasters"
- - Someone claiming to be a construction company solicited "Your roof tiles are misaligned. Typhoon is coming, so you should have them fixed as soon as possible." as if to rush construction.
- - Power outage continues due to the typhoon, and we are troubled because we cannot use electric appliances despite the humidity and heat. Calls to power company wouldn't go through. What should we do?
- Global spread of COVID-19 in the beginning of 2020 greatly affected everyday consumption affairs.
- Consumer affairs consultations include cases involving resale, cancellation of airplane tickets, etc., and negative option marketing.
- The Consumer Affairs Agency has been not only responding to the increased demands for supplies, such as face masks, but also promoting efforts to prevent consumer damage through misleading representations and fraudulent schemes, etc.
Response by the Consumer Affairs Agency to the spread of COVID-19
- (1) Response to the increased demands for supplies, such as face masks
- (2) Appeal for calm purchasing activities for foodstuffs, etc.
- (3) Prevention of consumer damage through misleading representations and fraudulent schemes
- - Demand for improvement in product labelling advocating preventive effects against COVID-19
- - Awareness raising regarding piggybacking marketing by the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan
- (4) Flexible operation of the Food Labelling Standards (March 3)
- (5) Transmission of accurate information and response to the transmission/dissemination of uncertain information (The 4th Basic Plan on Consumer Policy.)
Number and trend of consumer affairs consultation regarding COVID-19
1. Transition of the number of consumer affairs consultations
（January 1, 2020 and after）
|Up to April 30||Up to May 20|
|Cumulative total cases||155||2,527||12,536||28,340||32,555|
- 1. Consumer affairs consultation information registered with PIO-NET (as of, May 20, 2020)
- 2. Consultations "related to COVID-19"
2. Main consultation examples
- Regarding shortage of goods, resale, combination sales
(Examples) Face ｍasks, toilet paper, tissue paper, antiseptic solution, etc,
- Things related to cancellation fee, etc.
(Examples) Travel-related cases, such as airplane tickets/accommodation, events such as concerts, wedding, kimono rentals, gym membership fee, dinner parties, etc.
- Cases with possibility of fraud and fraudulent schemes
(Example) [Fraudulent websites]
- I ordered face masks, etc. from a website which said they had large stock. I became suspicious later and called the number on the website. I found out that it was a different store. It seems that the website was a fraudulent website.
[Negative option marketing]
- Face ｍasks in a box, which I had not ordered, was sent. What should I do?
[Cases advocating effects against COVID-19]
- Product claiming that it is effective against COVID-19 if the plate is worn around the neck Is it effective?
- I received a short message on my mobile phone to transfer 3,000 yen for the clerical work proxy procedure for the 100,000 yen benefit.
- I received a call saying "We have been commissioned by the administration and are coming for disinfection."
- Since the beginning of 2019, the number of consultations regarding "ticket resale" has been increasing. The number of consultations is approximately 4.2 times more than the previous year.
- Transaction amount for "ticket resale" increased around the opening of the Rugby World Cup (September, 2019).
Consultation examples of "ticket resale"
- - Tickets, resale of which was prohibited and with which entry to the venue may be declined, were sold, and I bought them.
- - The purchaser did not complete the ticket reception completion procedure, and no payment was made from the ticket resale website.
- The number of consumer affairs consultations on "information for sales*1" is approximately 7,700. Increase in the 20s is significant.
- With "Multilevel marketing*2", majority of the consultations are regarding "services" ("no-product multilevel marketing").
Examples of consultations on "information for sales"
- I learned about FX information for sales on SNS, went to a seminar, and concluded a contract. However, it was worthless.
*1:"Information for sales": Information sold by claiming to be know-how to receive high income through side business/investment/gambling, etc. through internet mail order, etc. The formats are electronic media, such as PDFs, videos, e-mail magazines, and applications.
Examples of consultations on "multilevel marketing"
- A friend from junior high school solicited me and explained "If you invest in overseas real estate, you can receive dividend in cryptoasset (virtual currency). If you introduce investors, you can receive introduction fee." I loaned money and gave my friend the money.
*2"Multilevel marketing": Business scheme in which one concludes a contract on a product/service, becomes a solicitor of the organization next, and obtain remuneration, such as introduction fee. This is not necessarily the same thing as "Multilevel Marketing Transactions" under the Act on Specified Commercial Transactions.