The Korea Herald


Consumer complaints about social commerce sites on rise


Published : Sept. 12, 2011 - 12:15

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An increasing number of customers of social commerce sites said they were dissatisfied with faulty contracts or poor services offered by business operators, a report showed Monday.

Social commerce, a business model that is most well known through U.S. online commerce site operator Groupon Inc., generates profit by arranging daily discount deals between local retailers and subscribers through collective buying.

The number of complaints over social commerce service registered with the Korea Customer Agency (KCA) jumped to 861 in June, up nearly tenfold from 89 in January, according to the report submitted to Rep. Yoon Seok-yong of the Grand National Party.

The figure has soared from 34 in 2010 when social commerce sites started their operations in South Korea, it noted.

Among the complaints accumulated until June, breach of contracts topped the list with 343 cases, followed by canceled deals with 216 and poor quality of products or services with 144, the report added.

"While the social commerce industry is growing at an increasing speed with a low entry barrier, consumer complaints are on the rise," Yoon said, urging thorough monitoring on the fledgling industry.

Korea's social commerce market was valued at around 60 billion won ($55 million) as of the end of December. (Yonhap News)

<한글 기사>

소셜커머스 소비자 불만 반년새 10배 급증

한나라당 윤석용 의원은 12일 한국소비자원에 접수된 소셜커머스 관련 소비자 불만 상담건수가 급증세를 보이고 있다고 밝혔다.

윤 의원이 소비자원으로부터 제출받은 자료에 따르면 올해 1월 89건에 불과하던 소셜커머스 상담 건수는 6월 861건으로 10배로 급증했다.

이는 소셜커머스 기업이 등장하기 시작한 2010년의 전체 상담건수 34건에 비해 25배 증가한 수치다.

올들어 6월까지 접수된 소비자상담 접수사례 1천405건을 유형별로 보면 계약불 이행(불완전이행 포함)이 343건으로 가장 많았고, 청약철회(216건), 품질불만(144건) 등의 순이었다. 

윤 의원은 "소셜커머스 시장이 엄청난 속도로 성장하는 데다 진입장벽이 낮아 우후죽순으로 업체가 증가하면서 소비자 피해가 증가하고 있다"며 관리 감독을 강화 를 촉구했다. (연합뉴스)