• Shopping online comes with the risk of goods getting lost while on the way.

Shopping online comes with the risk of goods getting lost while on the way. (Photo : Getty Images)

A total of 1,059 complaints involving the purchase of goods online were made in 2015, according to a statement by the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission on Wednesday, as reported by Shanghai Daily.

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The commission said that 2014 only saw fewer than 250 complaints received by the commission.

One of the factors that led to the increase in consumer complaints is the growing number of Chinese consumers who are purchasing goods from overseas via the Internet.

"An increasing number of Chinese consumers now purchase products from overseas using online shopping sites," said Tang Jiansheng, the deputy secretary-general of the commission. "People get angry due to problems such as businesses failing to deliver goods on time and products getting lost in delivery."

The commission said that a lot of the most popular products purchased by Chinese consumers are from the United States, Southeast Asia and Europe.

One of the people who forwarded a complaint to the commission last year was Fang Yuan, a resident of the Jing'an District. She said that she purchased two handbags in December from a supplier abroad through Alipay, but has not received them.

"I demand a solution," said Fang, stating that she has already paid 1,317 yuan ($200) for the goods.

Another complaint came from a woman in the Pudong New Area who claimed that she waited "for more than a month" for a bottle of perfume ordered through koala.com. She said that the product cost her 339 yuan.

According to the commission, a significant number of websites have refused to offer refunds, citing different policies and standards when it comes to online shopping, creating some problems.

Some websites that sell goods from overseas "make random changes, and some others cancel orders, and some others have fake promotions," according to the commission's statement.

Tang also said that, unlike Chinese suppliers, some overseas websites do not offer a seven-day no-questions-asked refund policy. He said that this is due to different product standards put on overseas products.

In China, consumers can exchange an item in resalable condition for a full refund within seven days of purchase online.

The commission concluded that a number of the complaints have to do with customers dealing with these kinds of businesses.