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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : May 25, 2007

British online shoppers angry at e-tailer tactics

Online shoppers in Britain are becoming increasingly annoyed by the sneaky practices of some online retailers, causing some to abandon their purchases.

by Helen Leggatt

Philfing-sysmbol.gifOver 2,400 British online shoppers were surveyed for research commissioned by Overall, a massive 93 percent said, they were “annoyed” by sneaky website tactics and charges.

The most annoying practice has been dubbed “philfing” which stands for “purposely hiding what I’m looking for”. Examples of philfing include budget travel sites that charge extra for insurance, booking fees left unmentioned until the last minute and sites that claim “free delivery” and then charge for “postage and packaging”. Hidden delivery charges would deter 64 percent from continuing with a purchase, found the survey.

Other annoyances were having to register before being able to purchase (57 percent), no telephone number listed on site (48 percent) and information about related purchases (36 percent).

“Shopping online is without doubt quick and convenient,” said Brian Trevaskiss, operations manager at “However this growing trend of philfing is so annoying for consumers that they abandon their baskets at philfers' sites and shop elsewhere.”

A site that could be of interest to site developers and marketers is’s website,, on which online shoppers are asked to leave examples of philfing that annoy them. It’s a growing list.

Tags: hidden charges, online shopping, philfing

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