More than 26 million of UK customers feel they have more chances to be ripped off when shopping online at Christmas than any other time of the year, according to a new survey.

According to the research by global online review community Trustpilot, the pressure of finding the perfect present leads customers to take risks.

Nearly 80 per cent of Christmas shoppers admitted they should be doing more research into the online retailers they use during the festive period, while over 55 per cent are more likely to turn to a retailer they’ve never used before to get the most wanted item on their wish list.

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The research, which examines shopping behaviour during the festive season also found that a third feel desperate while buying things at Christmas.

For James Westlake, UK country head at Trustpilot, Christmas is a stressful time for shoppers, which makes it a much bigger problem when things go wrong.

“Customers are on edge, doing a lot more shopping than usual and they’ve got a hard deadline to work to. On the other side, retailers are under more strain than at any other period in the year, which means that, unfortunately, sometimes mistakes will happen,” he said.

Online reviews are a popular way in which people figure out what and where to shop at Christmas with over 60 per cent of shoppers saying they are more likely to read other customers’ comments when researching a product or retailer than at any other time of the year, according to Trustpilot.

Unsatisfactory customer service tops the list of the most common causes of negative reviews at Christmas time with 65 per cent of UK customers saying they will write a bad comment if they are disappointed by the service they receive.

Other common motivations include items arriving damaged, causing 62 per cent to leave a bad review, while late delivery will cause just over half of shoppers to vent their frustrations online.

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