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Almost 3 in 5 are registered with online deal sites according to NCA survey

  • More than one in four (28%) of those who purchased through an online deal site have had reason to be dissatisfied with a purchase
  • Just under nine in ten (87%) said they would purchase from an online deal site again

2 February 2012

The National Consumer Agency (NCA) today published results of research, conducted by Amárach Research, which reveals that nearly 3 in 5 (57%) Irish adults have signed up to or registered with an online discount site.

The research also found that just under 1 in 3 (32%) have purchased from online discount sites and of those, more than one in four (28%) had reason to be dissatisfied with a purchase.

The main reasons cited for not being happy with the purchase were the product/service was not as described (19%), poor product quality (15%) and issues with the terms and conditions (11%).

Of those dissatisfied with a purchase, one in two (49%) complained to either the online deal site or the company offering the service. Just over half the consumers (52%) who complained had their complaint resolved.

This is the first research into the area of online deal sites that the NCA has undertaken, and the NCA will track developments and trends in this area over the coming years.

Commenting on the findings, Ann Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of the NCA, said: "Our research shows that online deal sites are very popular at present and while there are certainly some good offers out there, consumers should not to be swayed by the large discounts advertised and the pressure to sign up quickly in order to get the deal.

"We would also advise consumers to take some time to consider if the deal really represents good value, read the terms and conditions, check the expiry date on the deal and to check with other companies offering similar products before signing up. A simple way for consumers to check out a company before they sign up for a deal is to search for information on the company online."

A total of 87% of consumers who have purchased a product or service from an online discount site would buy through the same site again. Women were more likely to sign up to an online discount site, but once signed up men were more likely to have bought from one.

Ms Fitzgerald continued: "Considering the high figure reported for purchasing from the same site again and given the number of consumers who had problems, it could indicate that consumers are willing to make allowances, given the large discounts on offer.

"Consumers should be aware that when they buy from an online discount site, unless clearly stated, there should be no difference in the quality of the product or service offered other than buying directly from the provider at full cost.

"Your consumer rights do not change because something is on sale. If a problem does arise, the consumer should attempt to resolve it initially with the business or the online discount site company. But if the issue is not resolved, or if the consumer feels they were misled, they should report the problem to the NCA."

The NCA has lots of information on your rights when buying online and in the sales at www.nca.ie. The site also has tips on what to look out for when before signing up to a deal on an online discount site.

Download the main findings of the report (PowerPoint, 430KB)

Don't have PowerPoint? View the presentation online on Slideshare.net