The Israel Consumer Council has released its annual Complaints Report for 2014. According to the report, the Council has received in 2014 about 41,046 complaints, which constitutes an increase of 2 %as compared to last year.
The report shows that the field of telecommunication leads with a number of complaints reaching 22%. In second place, is the field of content services with 17% of the complaints and in third place – the field of electrical appliances with 11%. The field of house items also "stars" with 9% (furniture, kitchens, etc.), when many furniture companies were bankrupted.
80% of the complaints that were closed in 2014 were justified. The Council successfully handled about 60% of the complaints that were found to be justified.
About a quarter of the complaints come from the field of communication. Other fields subject to a high level of complaints are the fields of content services, electrical appliances, household goods, furniture, clothing and footwear. While in the field of communication, almost no change has been registered compared to last year regarding the number of complaints, in the fields of electrical appliances, household goods, clothing and footwear, there has been a slight diminution of the number of complaints submitted. On the other hand, in the field of touristic services, the number of complaints has increased by 12%.
The main failures consumers complained about in 2014 are in matters related to products (26%), refusal to cancel a transaction (19%), financial matters (18%), quality of service (17%), and deception (16%).
The report shows that it pays to turn to the Consumer Council: The Council has led to reimbursement of 5.7 million NIS to consumers who turned to this organization. This represents an increase of 11% as compared to last year.
The amount of money adds up to over 1.5 million NIS the Council has returned to consumers through drafting indictments for court small claims in 2014, and the Council has been involved in class actions procedures for the benefit of consumers.
Who turns to the Council for assistance? Complainants profile in 2014: most of the consumers turning to the Consumer Council are secular. They come from all levels of education. The rate of distribution of people turning to the Council is similar among women and men. Most complainants are married and are in their thirties or forties.
Additional date regarding the procedures for complaints: about 60% of consumers turn directly to the business (orally). About half of consumers do not receive any response from the business.
Israel Consumer Council CEO, lawyer Mr. Ehud Peleg: "Many in the business sector disregard consumer rights laws. The most serious phenomenon emerging from the report is disregard of consumers' justified complaints even after consumers turn to businesses and complain about violation of their rights. Thus, the business owners add" insult to injury" and harm the consumers twice. Many times, these businesses accept to stop acting as what appears to be an unfair "successful" method only following the intervention of the Consumer Council and to respect the legal consumers' rights".