SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Korea Bizwire) — South Koreans’ complaints about cross-border transactions have skyrocketed over the past three years due to a sharp rise in overseas travel and direct purchases from foreign countries, a state-run consumer agency said Sunday.
The number of complaints about direct overseas purchases and foreign travel services came to 3,933 cases last year, a more than 10-fold increase from 346 compaints in 2016, according to a report submitted to parliament by the Korea Consumer Agency (KCA).
The number of complaints about direct foreign travel services was the largest at 1,437, followed by clothes and shoes with 1,272, personal items with 875 and air tickets and flight services with 637.
By transaction type, direct purchases from overseas sellers accounted for the largest portion of the total at 47 percent, trailed by direct service usage with 40 percent, it noted.
Many of the complaints were related to delays in or rejections of cancellations, refunds and exchanges, as well as contract breaches and delayed delivery.
“Consumer complaints related to cross-border transactions have sharply risen in line with vibrant overseas travel and direct online purchases,” Rep. Kim Sung-won of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, said in a release.
“The government needs to come up with support measures with the respective countries and introduce stronger regulations to minimize harm to consumers.”