Hungarian consumer awareness on the rise


Consumers are better informed and place more trust in retailers, a survey by Nielsen and consultancy CP Contact found in Q4 2017. Complaints concerning the quality of shoes and clothing products, for example, have dropped steeply, although internet services triggered a record number of issues. 

The Hungarian Consumer Protection Index is revealed every quarter by consultancy CP Contact with the purpose of keeping track of changing customer attitudes, with special regard to consumer trust, volume of complaints and level of consumer knowledge. The latest survey shows that 22% of respondents had a problem with a certain product, whilst 16% encountered a negative experience in relation to a service. 

Most of the blame among products was directed at food: some 39% of complaints concerned a food product of one kind or another. This was followed by 20% for shoes, and clothing products at 17%. But these figures still represent a substantial improvement; shoes drew 7% less complaints than in the previous quarter, whereas clothing products saw a drop of three percentage points.

In terms of services, internet service providers received most of the bashing. In fact, the ratio of unsatisfied customers jumped by 5% to 33% compared to Q3 2017. The shame list continues with television (19%), banking (18%) and telephone (16%) services.

The good news is that consumers seem to be somewhat better informed. Since a warranty is of key importance, awareness is measured by checking peopleʼs knowledge about the statutory length of their warranty. CP Contact uses shoes as a reference because a substantial portion of complaints arise in connection with them. The latest data revealed a slight improvement of 0.7% among those who got the answer right about the warranty period.

“In total, 7% of respondents guessed right that the warranty for shoes is two years. But in spite of the improvement, this is still a very modest figure, even though the relevant rules have been in effect for five years,” says Máté Siklósi, managing partner of CP Contact.

Consumer trust vis-à-vis retailers has gone up somewhat, but nearly half of respondents still believe they are misled on purpose when it comes to consumer protection rules. Just 36% said it has more to do with lack of knowledge on their part.

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