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80,259 News Articles

Weekend: Web still gives shoppers the jitters

Security worries prevail for online consumers

Industry pundits may be hailing the arrival of the UK’s first electronic retail Christmas (again), but according to the most recent PC Advisor poll 50 percent of readers feel there are major problems with this newest channel to market.

Of the 1,319 respondents, 13.6 percent indicated unreliable delivery was the biggest hassle when it comes to buying goods online.

The depth of feeling about delivery problems has been underlined by Jungle’s recent bungles, which caused difficulties for up to 2,000 customers after the retailer lost crucial ordering data.

A thread detailing the complaints of a number of PC Advisor visitors affected by the data loss has so far attracted a record 117 postings.

A further 15.3 percent of those polled cited lack of human interaction as the number one bugbear.

But topping the problem charts was a familiar old chestnut, namely concerns about security, with nearly one in five (21.1 percent) still unhappy about offering up their credit card details online.

Only half of respondents appear completely comfortable with online retailing, opting for the 'problem, what problem?' button on the poll.

Some visitors to the PC Advisor ConsumerWatch forum felt the results would have thrown up even more disaffection with online retailing had PC Advisor included ‘returning goods’ as an option.

Long-term visitor and forum leading light George McKenzie, known better to other visitors as Georgemac says, "[returning goods] is the only problem I have ever had with buying goods online, and only twice.

"Usually the cost of returning goods wipes out any saving you may have made, and it can be quite a laborious task."

Commenting on the 50 percent positive response figure, reader Derek Loader says: "When one thinks that people like us, as computer users, represent a segment of society that should be more likely to buy online, this does not bode well for the vendors."

The results come hard on the heels of nationwide research indicating that nearly half of web users shop online.

Total UK figures for online shoppers stands at 8.2 million, making up 47 percent of regular web users according to a recent in-depth study by Continental Research.

The same study revealed that 3.5 million people buy something online each month.

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