Poles are reluctant to file complaints against fraudulent e-sellers. They are either discouraged by lengthy procedures or don’t know where to look for help

2018-04-16  |  06:00
Says:Kamil Pluskwa-Dąbrowski
Function:President of the Consumer Federation

Most consumers won’t file a complaint against a fraudulent e-seller unless they lose more than PLN 300. Afraid of lengthy procedures, they ignore minor frauds. According to the Consumer Federation, while internet fraud is generally on the decline, fraud involving non-delivery of paid-for goods is still commonplace.

E-commerce has been increasingly popular in Poland. According to Gemius's and Chamber of Digital Economy's “E-Commerce in Poland 2017” report, already more than half the Polish population shops online. People are also more willing to make online payments, using mainly debit and credit cards. Underlying this trend is the belief found among more than 60 percent of internet users that there is no risk involved in online shopping. The security of online transactions in Poland has also been confirmed by the Consumer Federation.

“We haven’t been receiving many complaints of this kind. Fraud involving unauthorised use of payment cards is even more common in traditional commerce than online. Let's be clear – online shopping is not more risky than offline shopping,” Kamil Pluskwa-Dąbrowski, the President of the Consumer Federation, told the Newseria Biznes information agency.

While Poles’ online security awareness has been increasing, many internet users continue to fall prey to fraud. Fake stores without secured payment systems and fraud involving non-delivery of paid-for goods are the major concern. Consumers also complain about the goods being faulty or not as described – these claims may be pursued under warranty or guarantee.

“This is where e-commerce has a fundamental advantage over traditional stores – if you buy an item online, you have the right to return it within 14 days without giving any reasons,” Kamil Pluskwa-Dąbrowski said.

According to Provident's surveys, almost one in five Poles had to deal with a service provider that failed to comply with the agreement or violated consumer rights. Only half the respondents, however, decided to file a complaint. According to the Consumer Federation, Poles are even more reluctant to assert their rights in e-commerce.

“We receive more than 60,000 consumer complaints a year, including 8,000-9,000 – one in seven or eight cases – complaints involving digitisation or internet, etc., in one way or another. It's either a problem with an online store or an issue with the service,” Kamil Pluskwa-Dąbrowski said.

The Consumer Federation also asked Poles what would induce them to file a complaint against a fraudulent seller, seek legal advice or contact a consumer rights protection organisation. The survey showed that Poles are reluctant to assert their rights as long as the loss involved is lower than PLN 300.

“One of the reasons why this is the case is the daunting prospect of lengthy and difficult court proceedings. In some cases, consumers are unaware that they can seek assistance from a district ombudsman or a consumer-protection organisation, such as the Consumer Federation, to name but a few,” Kamil Pluskwa-Dąbrowski said.

Online-shopping security is relevant to both e-stores and customers. Sellers have to make sure that their servers and internet connections are secure, with the latter involving SSL-based encryption. Consumer awareness, however, is the key to secure transactions – using strong passwords and high-quality internet connections is essential.


Polish consumers are more satisfied than Americans, with the customer satisfaction level being close to 80 percent

For six years the customer satisfaction index in Poland has grown by over 17 percentage points to nearly 78 percent, and it currently exceeds the customer satisfaction levels recorded in the USA and the United Kingdom. Service quality and its growing significance among businesses have had a tremendous impact on customer satisfaction. For the eleventh time the Customer Service Quality Star titles have been awarded to entrepreneurs recording the best results in this field.


Polish defence industry exhibits a significant growth potential. Polish army equipment tenders open huge prospects to companies.

As assessed by Krzysztof Krystowski, Deputy President of the Board of Leonardo Helicopters, the company which owns PZL-Świdnik, the Polish army and defence industry should undergo simultaneous modernisation. The participation of domestic entities in the army equipment tenders announced by the Ministry of National Defence (MON) is a huge opportunity. Given the scale and complexity of such contracts, their implementation will be based on strict cooperation between various Polish companies, with the potential cooperation between PZL-Świdnik and Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (Polish Armaments Group) in building a combat helicopter being an accurate example.


Polish secondary-school students working on a smart-home app for people with disabilities

More and more devices are becoming part of the ‘smart home’ concept. No longer limited to TVs or tablets, they now also include laundry machines, vacuum cleaners and even refrigerators. New ways to communicate with household appliances connected to the Internet are currently being brought to us by voice assistants. Now all that it takes to turn on the TV or switch between channels is a single voice command. A group of secondary-school students from Poland have decided to try and merge the ‘smart home’ concept with voice controllability. ‘DAREK’, the project they’re working on, is addressed to disabled users to help them move around the house. Using voice control, not only will they be able to open the door or roll the blinds down but even stock up the fridge.