ugg sunburst Canadians increasingly concerned about safety of online shopping
EDMONTON Coralie Kerr says she will never shop at Sears again.
Kerr, 43, a Brookview resident and avid online shopper, said that a $180 package failed to arrive in early December, even though the other half of her order did.
Her experience is an example of something that statistics show is on a lot of Canadians minds, especially during the holiday season: how safe and reliable is online shopping?
Canadian online shoppers spent $746 on average in 2013, compared to $382 for offline shoppers. Canada Post has seen an increase of 20 30 per cent in holiday shopping orders since last year, largely driven by e commerce. It also reported Edmonton is fourth among fastest growing e commerce centres.
The 2014 Deloitte retail outlook report found that nearly 80 per cent of Canadian shoppers were concerned about online shopping safety. Nearly half have grown more cautious when shopping online and 2.4 per cent have stopped online shopping altogether.
The Alberta Government released an online bulletin earlier in December to inform consumers how to shop online safely.
So much more shopping is being done online, said Eoin Kenny, public relations officer for the Alberta government. Make sure that youre not setting yourself up for disappointment Christmas morning. That things havent arrived, or if they arrive, that they are exactly what you ordered.
Despite the concerns,
online shopping problems appear to be rare. Kenny said the Alberta government has seen few online scams or security issues reported to them.
He had tips for online shoppers.
Make sure they have a return policy, that you can get your money back if youre not satisfied, said Kenny. He also advised reading terms and conditions closely and allowing plenty of time in case a package is lost.
Before you get to a point where someone can take advantage of you, if you arm yourself with a little knowledge, the best consumer protection that anyone could have is education, said Kenny.
Kerr recommended calling both the shipper and the credit card company if anything goes wrong. Mastercard put a hold on the transaction when she wasnt able to quickly sort it out with Sears.
Vincent Power, vice president of marketing for Sears, was surprised to hear of the problems.
He said delivery problems are rare for the company and it works to ensure they dont happen. He offered to contact her to make amends. Kerr chose not to take him up on it.
But Kerr hasnt stopped online shopping altogether. In fact, she says shes had great experiences too. Another company lost a package, but immediately re shipped it, no questions asked. The first package found its way to her house long after shed received the replacement. When she called the company, they told her to keep the second one.