Services markets are the most likely to be failing consumers across the EU

According to the latest Consumer Markets Scoreboard, EU consumers rate poorly financial services, investments (including pensions and securities), mortgages and real estate services. In addition, the electricity supply and fuels have deteriorated most in comparison with 2010.

Services markets are the most likely to be failing consumers across the EU, with financial services (e.g. consumer credit) and network services (e.g. electricity) all below average. Overall, investments (including pensions and securities), real estate services and mortgages are the three lowest-performing consumer markets. In 2010, these were investments, real estate and internet provision. Also compared with 2010, the electricity and fuels markets have deteriorated most, which may reflect consumer sentiment about electricity and fuel prices. These are the main results drawn from the latest Consumer Markets Scoreboard. The Scoreboard ranks 51 services and goods markets, covering more than 60% of household budgets, to see which are likely to be failing consumers across the EU.

In addition, when the perceived ease of switching the provider or tariff plan is considered as well as actual switching by consumers, mortgages, investments (including pensions and securities) and electricity supply score lowest of the 14 service markets analysed. Moreover, 64% consumers are satisfied with the choice of goods or providers (across all markets). This suggests that choice is less of a problem for consumers than issues such as trust in traders and the ability to compare offers.

On the other hand, goods markets on the whole appear to be working much better. Exceptions include second-hand cars and vehicle fuels, which have scored lowest in the goods category. In 2010, these were second-hand cars, clothing and footwear, and meat.