Friday, 7 December 2012

8th consumer scoreboard

What markets are working better for EU citizens? And where is there, to put it nicely, larger room for improvement?
Some answers can be found in the latest Consumers Market Scoreboard, which measures consumers overall appreciation of the markets along seven parameters (‘comparability’, ‘trust’, ‘satisfaction’, ‘choice’ and ‘ease of switching’, plus ‘problems’ and ‘complaints’).
In general, it seems that European consumers find themselves relatively at ease within markets for goods- with the notable but unsurprising exception of second-hand cars...
On the other hand, services markets in general seem to cause more troubles. In particular, at the bottom of the chart lay banking sand telecom services, which perform poorly on several parameters.
European consumers seem also to be at strains with energy markets when it comes to important aspects such as choice, comparability and switching suppliers and tariffs.
Finally, the most remarkable decreases in performance seem to have been taken place in the transport and post-delivery markets as an effect of the crisis. The latter has led governments to curb public subsidies to those sectors. 
Another interesting remark is to be found in the Commission's press release: apparently, "[m]arkets are assessed differently by different socio-demographic groups." Further research with the aim of clarifying the reasons for that is promised (and vividly looked forward to by this author).

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