SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of complaints filed by South Korean consumers who made purchases via foreign online shopping malls increased 46.4 percent in the first half of this year, as more people bought goods directly from overseas sellers attracted by cheaper prices and diversity, data showed Wednesday.
The number of complaints filed with the Cross Border Transaction Consumer Portal in the January-June period stood at 5,721, up sharply from 3,909 tallied the same period last year, according to the data compiled by the Korea Consumer Agency (KCA).
Those related to purchases made by an agent accounted for 56 percent of the total with 3,201, but the increase was most noticeable among those who made direct purchases, with the number of complaints jumping 114.4 percent on-year from 648 to 1,389, the data showed.
Delays or refusals of refunds or exchanges were the most common issue with 1,934 cases, or 33.8 percent of the total, it said.
In terms of items, complaints related to purchases of flight tickets or accommodation marked 126.6 percent and 124.9 percent on-year increases, respectively, according to the data.
South Koreans’ direct purchases of foreign goods or services via overseas online sites rose 29.2 percent on-year to 532 billion won (US$469 million) in the second quarter of this year, according to Statistics Korea.