FY2015 Summary of "Consumer Trouble Mail Box"
NCAC's website has a section for online data collection called "Consumer Trouble Mail Box" (hereinafter called "Trouble Mail Box") set up in April 2002 in order to promptly perceive the actual status of consumer damage as well as prevent the occurrence of similar problems. The following show the outline of information received through the Trouble Mail Box in FY2015 and noticeable cases for which the follow-up survey was conducted.
Transition in the number of reports by fiscal year
The number of reports received in FY2015 was 9,122, representing a substantial decrease from 13,721 in FY2014. The average number of reports per day was about 25.
Traffic to "Trouble Mail Box"
The traffic to the top page of "Trouble Mail Box" amounted to 162,707, which showed about a 40% decrease over the previous fiscal year.
Nature of senders
Males accounted for more than 60% (males: 62.3%, females: 37.7%). The percentage of females had kept increased till FY2014, but slightly decreased in FY2015.
Senders in their 30s (27.0%) and 40s (30.7%) accounted for nearly 60%. The percentage of 40s decreased and the percentage of 50s increased. In comparison with contract signatories concerned with inquiries/complaints sent to local consumer centers, etc. across Japan (data gathered by PIO-NET), senders in their 30s and 40s are nearly double in number while senders in their 60s and older are about one quarter. The tendency was similar to that of the previous fiscal year.
In comparison with contract signatories concerned with inquiries/complaints sent to local consumer centers, etc. across Japan (data gathered by PIO-NET), the percentage of "unemployed" and "homemakers", including the elderly, was lower, while the percentage of "salary earners" and "independent business, freelance" was higher.
According to the three hour breakdown of posting time, the number of those who posted during 9:00-17:59, i.e. business hours and the number of those who posted other time was almost equal. There was little difference in the number of posting in every three hours during 18:00-23:59. About 10% posted between midnight and early morning (0:00-5:59). The data show a certain need for 24-hour possibility of transferring information.
Tendency of information received in FY2015
Due to the nature of online data collection system, "Trouble Mail Box" generally tends to receive much information concerning IT or internet shopping in usual years. Information received in FY2015 was further characterized by troubles over My Number system (Social Security and Tax Number System in Japan), which has been notified to Japanese nationals since October 2015, and troubles over electricity retail liberalization, which started in April 2016.
Noticeable cases in FY2015 for which follow-up survey was conducted
"Trouble Mail Box" received information on troubles which could lead to spread of consumer damage as well as information concerning new products and new types of tricks. Concerning such information, NCAC conducts follow-up survey of information providers and related businesses (See press releases in the section of News).
Information provision to the Consumer Affairs Agency
"Trouble Mail Box" received information on consumer damage due to products/services as well as physical risks consumers felt when using products/services. Actual or potential serious accidents under Article 12 of the Consumer Safety Act (cases which caused or could cause death or serious accidents) are promptly notified to the Consumer Affairs Agency. In FY2015, NCAC notified the Consumer Affairs Agency of 10 actual or potential serious accidents and 40 near miss incidents.