Which? has demanded urgent government action to make online platforms accountable for scams, dangerous products and fake reviews on their sites.
The consumer watchdog has called for government intervention after a survey of 2000 UK adults revealed that 68 per cent had little or no trust in online giants like Amazon, Ebay, Wish and AliExpress to protect them from harm.
Which? has now launched its #JustNotBuyingIt campaign aiming to push the government to enforce new laws which would force tech giants to stamp out harmful practices on their sites, adding that currently there is no incentive for the companies to do so.
“Millions of consumers are being exposed every day to scams, dangerous products and fake reviews,” Which? director of policy and advocacy Rocio Concha said.
“The world’s biggest tech companies are profiting from these consumer harms and it is clear that they simply are not willing to take responsibility for protecting people.
“We are launching our new #JustNotBuyingIt campaign because it is time to stop asking these platforms to do the right thing to protect consumers – instead the government and regulators must now step in and make them take responsibility.”
It comes as nearly one in five respondents said they have bought an unsafe product from an online marketplace over the last year, including one shopper who said his ‘Amazon’s Choice’ recommended power bank caught fire while charging.
Which? has released numerous investigations into the safety of products sold across leading online marketplaces, revealing recently that two thirds of products purchased from Amazon, Ebay, Wish.com and AliExpress failed safety tests.
It is also seeking to tackle fake reviews and the growing number of scams happening across online marketplaces, seeing eight per cent of UK shoppers saying they’ve fallen victim to a scam on an online platform over the last 12 months, with 51 per cent of those saying it negatively affected their financial situation.
In response to the campaign, Amazon said that it has invested more than $700 million and employed 10,000 people over the past year to protect customers from fraud and abuse.
Ebay said it is has measures in place to block listings that do not comply with its policies resulting in 6 million unsafe listings being removed last year.
Meanwhile Facebook says it will continue to invest in new technologies to protect people from scams and has donated £3 million to raise awareness of online scams and help victims.