Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Consumer vulnerability study published by the Commission

Yesterday the Commission published a study examining the incidence of consumer vulnerability across the EU28 and Iceland and Norway. It identifies the main reasons behind this vulnerability and what can be done about it. A special focus is on the challenges consumers face in the online environment, as well as in the finance and energy sectors. Many consumers show some signs of vulnerability, putting them at a higher risk of suffering negative outcomes in the market and making them more susceptible to certain marketing practices.

The key finding is that the incidence of vulnerability is the highest when consumers face complex advertising or when they have problems comparing deals because of market-related or personal factors, giving them difficulties getting informed, comparing, accessing and choosing between offers. Presenting offers in a simpler and clearer way significantly improves consumers' ability to select the best deals and to exercise their right to choose other alternatives.

If you are interested, take a look at the Commission's factsheet and final report here