Friday 21 October 2011

What's the score? - Consumer Markets Scoreboard Autumn 2011

The 6th Consumer Markets Scoreboard is now available on the website of the European Commission, DG Health and Consumers. The Scoreboard is meant to help the Commission 'identify potentially underperforming sectors in the single market from the consumers' perspective' and ranks '51 consumer markets, covering more than 60% of household budgets, in terms of consumer trust, satisfaction, the ease of switching and comparing offers, problems and complaints, choice and prices' (see the Q&A press release for more details on the Scoreboard's functions and this year's main results).

Market sectors that, according to the new Scoreboard, remain problematic from the consumers' point of view are (not surprisingly..) those concerning financial services:
'Consumers are most satisfied with "books, magazines and newspapers", "personal care services" and "glasses and lenses". The lowest satisfaction scores are assigned to "investments, pensions, securities", "mortgages" and "real estate services". "Train services" obtain the highest percentage of consumers giving a very poor score (16 %)' (p. 15 of the report).

Further action that will be taken on the basis of these results includes the launch of two in-depth market studies, one on consumer credit, the other on fuels.
For those interested in the facts and figures presented on the Scoreboard, detailed breakdowns on different aspects of the data can be found on the related Consumer Market Monitoring Dashboard.