Crew Interests

Keyboard Warriors Do Battle in the Digital Marketplace

by Miin Tan on 03/23/2018

Have you ever complained to the staff in stores/ restaurants because you are unsatisfied with the service/ product?

How about if we change the setting from a brick-and-mortal store to online shopping website? If you got a pair of pants that are different from your order or any unfair incident, would you contact the seller to ask for replacement/ refund?

March 15th was World Consumer Rights Day so we asked 352 SmartRocket agents in Hong Kong and Taiwan about their experiences with their consumer rights.

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The theme of World Consumer Rights Day 2018 is “Making digital marketplaces fairer”, so we also asked agents to record their behaviours in digital marketplaces which revealed that online and instore behaviours are slightly different;

  • 31% of Taiwan respondents have actually provided feedback in stores/ restaurants but 73% of Taiwan respondents took action on any unfair incidents in the digital marketplace. According to the poll, 43% of Taiwan respondents are afraid of confrontation and therefore choose not to provide their feedback when dissatisfied in store – perhaps that’s why they are more comfortable as keyboard warriors?

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  • Hong Kong respondents have relatively similar response in offline stores and digital marketplaces – around 70% of respondents have provided their feedback directly in stores/ restaurants while 58% of respondents have taken action when they face any unfair incidents in the digital marketplace.

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When asked to vote for categories they think has the most unfair incidents, these 2 categories were eye-catching:

  • Taiwan respondents ranked “Fashion and Accessories” as the category with most unfair incidents perhaps because it is also one of the most popular categories for online shopping.
  • Hong Kong respondents ranked “Online services, e.g. online ticket booking services/ internet service provider/mobile data service provider and etc.” as number 1 in most unfair incidents – which is perhaps not surprising as social media/ online forums seem to buzz with issues in this sector.

Finally, we have learned that the majority of our respondents (and perhaps consumers in general) are not aware of World Consumer Rights Day (only 19% in Hong Kong and 31% in Taiwan are aware of it) but perhaps now, at least SmartRocket agents are equipped with better knowledge of their basic consumer rights in the future.

What do you think? Share your thoughts!