NEWS

Poll: Most Greeks don’t trust the state on consumer issues

Despite the barrage of information on food quality that Greek consumers are bombarded with, they tend to go along with what their friends tell them, and put their trust in the media rather than the state when it comes to defending their interests, according to a recent nationwide survey of consumer behavior and information sources carried out among 1,000 people by ICAP. Very few people believe they will get a satisfactory response by filing a complaint with a firm. The European Union has more credibility than Greece’s state services regarding consumer issues. Consumer groups and the media are where the public usually go when they want to make a complaint. About half of those polled said they believe they are well informed on products and services. However, 57 percent of the respondents said their sources of information are their friends, acquaintances, or television programs rather than scientific groups or the authorities. Only 13 percent seek information from the manufacturers themselves and another 12 percent from consumer groups. Very few approach state or EU organizations (just 5 and 1 percent respectively). Just two in 10 consumers believe they can obtain satisfaction in a dispute with a salesperson or manufacturer in Greece. Four in 10 believe that their interests are well represented at EU level, but only 25 percent think the same about national authorities. When a problem arises, over half think it more effective to approach a consumer group; 43 percent would approach the media. Only one in three believes that contacting authorities would serve a purpose and just two in 10 would approach Euro-MPs or make their complaint known on the Internet. According to the poll results, younger people and the better educated are more likely be concerned about consumer rights. Nevertheless, the majority are in agreement that Greece is way behind other countries with regard to consumer protection and representation.