According to the European Commission’s Consumer Markets Scoreboard, released in full on Monday, Norway has some of the absolute least satisfied consumers among the 30 nations surveyed.
Norwegians are particularly unhappy with the shopping options for food items like meat, fruit and vegetables.
In the category of ‘meat and meat products’, Norwegian consumer satisfaction was ranked at just 71.4 out of 100, a full 9.2 percentage points below the EU average. The same gap is found in the category of ‘fruit and vegetables’, where the Norwegian score of 72.5 was far behind the 81.6 EU average.
“There are only two countries in Europe where there is lower [consumer] satisfaction than in Norway and that’s Bulgaria and Croatia. That speaks for itself,” Gunstein Instefjord of Norway's consumer rights watchdog, Forbrukerrådet, told broadcaster NRK.
Norwegians’ satisfaction for all goods included in the study – which include such things as books and magazines, vehicles, appliance, entertainment goods and electronic products – was 3.9 percent below the European average.
The Consumer Markets Scoreboard also found that Norwegian satisfaction has decreased by one point overall since the last survey.
Instefjord said Norwegian consumers should be able to “expect better than this”.
“Norwegian consumers have passed their judgement. Compared to other Europeans, Norwegians are clearly less satisfied with the meats, vegetables and fruit that they buy,” he told NRK.
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The head of the Norwegian agricultural co-operative Nortura said he was “surprised” by the scoreboard’s results.
“With the quality we have in Norwegian meat products, we should be the most satisfied consumers in Europe, there shouldn’t be any doubt,” Kjell Rakkenes told NRK.
Norwegians aren’t particularly satisfied with the services available in their country either. While the overall service satisfaction score of 76.7 was only 1.8 points below the European average, some services were much further below. The biggest gap is in the service level at cafes, bars and restaurants. There, Norwegian satisfaction was just 71.5, a full 9.8 points below the average. The satisfaction in internet providers was also 8.1 points below the average.
There were some areas, however, in which Norwegians were much more satisfied than their European brethren. Consumer satisfaction was well above the average when it comes to the water supply, banking services and home mortgages.