He National Consumer Service (Sernac) will demand compensation and adjustment of practices to three most claimed retail companies for delay and non-compliance related to online purchases during the second stage of this pandemic.
To do this, the agency initiated a Voluntary Collective Procedure with Falabella, Ripley and Paris, companies that concentrate the 53% of total claims related to the delay in delivery compared to electronic commerce, among other problems.
The process also seeks to investigate other practices detected, such as: compensation would be offered in the form of a gift card that would later not be complied with, have “fine print” or would not be effective; charges would be made for each office despite being a single purchase; and difficulties in accessing service channels in case of problems.
From March to June of this year, the Sernac received close to 72 thousand complaints related to delay in the delivery of products in electronic commerce, being the market that heads the general ranking. In some cases, there have been delays of up to two months without explanation or compensation being given to the consumer, or payment being returned.
Of this total, and without considering the number of transactions, Falabella concentrated 31% (22,312 claims); followed by Ripley, with 14.5% of cases (10,434 claims); then Paris, with 7% (5,149 claims).
Regarding the companies that have the lowest percentage, the Service will analyze their behavior and response standard to evaluate the actions to be followed, so it is not ruled out to initiate other steps.
Emphasis on claims
The three retailers concentrated 53% of the claims entered between March and July, which translate into an increase of 539% versus the same period last year. This figure is six times higher than the same period in 2019.
The Falabella company had the highest growth with respect to the total of its claims compared to the same period of 2019, with an increase of 556%.
The national director of Sernac, Lucas Del VillarHe explained that “it is understandable that companies had problems due to the increase in demand in the context of the pandemic, but almost 5 months have passed where it is expected that they have adjusted their processes and offer deadlines that they can meet.”
“What we have seen is that companies offer deadlines that they do not meet later, generating frustration for consumers, especially because they are buying essential products for teleworking or remote study of schoolchildren, “said the authority.
Del Villar added that he hopes that companies will see this process as an opportunity to adjust their practices so that consumers continue to prefer this type of purchase; and they can build loyalty and build trust.
“In a recent Sernac survey, about 50% of consumers indicated that they do not care so much about the delay, but that companies meet the deadline they report, therefore, they must deliver accurate and timely information and compensate consumers when they cannot comply ”, he added.
The director added that, in the case of online purchases, companies establish alternatives for dispatch dates and consumers select their preference.
Therefore, what is expected is that, if a company proposes a certain date, it has the capacity to comply, because otherwise – in addition to not respecting the commitment assumed with the consumer – could engage in unfair competition conduct compared to other providers that offer longer terms but are able to meet.
The process will establish clear compensation criteria, such as considering all those affected, be proportional to the damage, for example, including an amount for each day of delay, in addition to ensuring that companies improve their processes and eliminate bad practices.
If companies do not deliver the necessary information, or the compensation offered does not meet the requirements, Sernac will file class action lawsuits.
What do consumers say about electronic commerce?
-39% say that online shopping increased after the pandemic.
-Only 6% indicate that they will not continue buying online when the face-to-face commerce opens.
Category that buys the most
-89% have had difficulties buying online.
-55% say they have had problems in delaying the delivery of products.
-44% of people do not care that an office is delayed, as long as they give a date and it is met.