FY2016 Summary of Consumer Affairs Inquiries registered to PIO-NET
This summary reflects consumer affairs inquiries collected in FY2016 by PIO-NET* that connects the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan (NCAC) with local consumer affairs centers and similar organizations across Japan.
Based on the data registered in PIO-NET through the end of May 2017, NCAC has analyzed trends of consumer affairs inquiries in FY2016.
- * PIO-NET is a database that collects information on inquiries concerning consumer affairs by linking NCAC with local consumer affairs centers and similar organizations across Japan via an online network.
Trends and characteristics of FY2016 consumer affairs inquiries identified through PIO-NET
- The total number of inquiries in FY2016 was about 887,000, which showed a decrease from FY2015 (about 930,000). This result was due to a decrease of inquiries related to "adult websites", financial instruments, and information communication services.
- The number of inquiries related to "fictitious billing", including charges for using websites that consumers do not recollect using, was about 83,000 in FY2016, which continued to increase since FY2012.
- The breakdown of inquiries by age group of contract signatories showed that the percentage of contract signatories in their 70s or older was the highest, although decreasing. The percentage of contract signatories in their 50s and 60s was on the increase.
- There was an increase in inquiries related to "health foods", "cosmetics", and "beverages". This result was due to an increase in inquiries related to regular purchase of these products.
- There was an increase in inquiries related to "private investigators, etc." who offered to resolve troubles involving "adult websites".
- Inquiries related to "mail order service" accounted for about 37% of the whole inquiries in FY2016. The breakdown of inquiries by type of sales/purchase showed that mail order service continued to be the top category since FY2013.
- The total of purchased amount and paid-in amount continued to decrease since FY2014. The total of purchased amount in FY2016 was 428,100,000,000 yen (average: 1,050,000 yen). The total of paid-in amount in FY2016 was 146,500,000,000 yen (average: 410,000 yen).
- The breakdown of inquiries by sales method/trick showed that inquiries related to "refund fraud" increased more than seven-fold in five years from FY2012 to FY2016.