FY2014 Summary of "Consumer Trouble Mail Box"
NCAC has launched a section on its website dedicated to online data collection called "Consumer Trouble Mail Box" (hereinafter referred to as "Trouble Mail Box") in order to promptly perceive the actual status of consumer damages as well as to prevent the occurrence of similar problems. Here, we mainly report the outline of information received in FY2014 and noticeable cases for which the follow-up survey was conducted.
Transition in the number of transmissions by fiscal year
The transmissions amounted to 13,721 in FY2014, slightly decreased from 15,058 in FY2013. The average number of transmissions per day was about 38.
Traffic to "Trouble Mail Box"
The traffic to the top page of "Trouble Mail Box" amounted to 293,012, almost same with that in the previous fiscal year.
Nature of senders
Although males accounted for more than 60% (males: 61.8%, females: 38.2%), the ratio of females keeps increasing since the launch of "Trouble Mail Box".
Senders in their 30s (26.9%) and 40s (32.8%) accounted for about 60%. Breakdown by age is almost same with that in the previous fiscal year, except for a slight decrease in 30s and slight increase in 50s. In comparison with contract signatories who sent inquiries/complaints to local consumer centers (gathered by PIO-NET), senders in 30s and 40s are nearly double in number while senders in their 60s and older are less than a quarter.
In comparison with consumers who sent inquiries/complaints to local consumer centers across Japan (gathered by PIO-NET), the ratio of "unemployed" and "homemakers" is lower while the ratio of "salary earners" and "independent business, freelance" is higher.
According to the breakdown of transmission time by 3 hours, the majority transmitted during 9:00-18:00, i.e. business hours. There is little difference in the number of transmissions in every 3 hours during 18:00-24:00. More than 10% transmitted between midnight and early morning (00:00-05:59). The data shows a certain need for 24-hour availability for sending information.
Tendency of information received in FY2014
Due to the nature of online data collection system, "Trouble Mail Box" generally tends to receive much information concerning IT in usual years. In addition, noticeable information received in FY2014 relates to troubles over increase in consumption tax starting on April 1, 2014, as well as to food contamination, probably due to a spate of reports on accidents of food contamination.
Noticeable cases in FY2014 for which follow-up survey was conducted
"Trouble Mail Box" received information on cases whereby consumer damages are considered to be spread as well as information on new products and new types of tricks. Concerning such information, NCAC conducts follow-up survey of information providers and related businesses (See the press release for noticeable cases).
Information provision to the Consumer Affairs Agency
"Trouble Mail Box" received information on consumer damages due to products/services as well as physical risks consumers felt when using products/services. Harmful and hazardous incident information subject to the Consumer Safety Act (cases leading to death or serious accidents) is promptly provided to the Consumer Affairs Agency. In FY2014, NCAC notified the Consumer Affairs Agency of 7 cases related to death/serious accidents and 10 near-miss cases.