Con­sumer on­line rights pro­tected

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By ZHOU WENTING in Shang­hai

zhouwent­ing@chi­nadaily. com.cn

On­line shop­ping and ser­vices gar­nered nearly 11,400 in­di­vid­ual con­sumer com­plaints in Shang­hai last year, up 18 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous year, with truth in ad­ver­tis­ing and the qual­ity of prod­ucts trig­ger­ing the most con­sumer griev­ances.

The Shang­hai Ad­min­is­tra­tion for In­dus­try and Com­merce, the city’s mar­ket watch­dog, pub­lished the fig­ures on March 14, a day ahead of the In­ter­na­tional Day for Pro­tect­ing Con­sumers’ Rights. The to­tal num­ber of con­sumer com­plaints filed with the ad­min­is­tra­tion hit 170,000 last year, a record high.

Most in­di­vid­ual anger fo­cused on qual­ity, post-sales ser­vice and main­te­nance, and con­tracts, with high rises in com­plaints also over the qual­ity of con­tracts and al­le­ga­tions of ex­ag­ger­ated or mis­lead­ing ad­ver­tise­ments.

In one high-pro­file case, a sup­plier of “agri-tain­ment” — where peo­ple can pick their own veg­eta­bles, feed live­stock and eat in farm­houses — called Juyuan lo­cated in the town of Qing­cun in Fengx­ian district pro­moted it­self as “the ru­ral ver­sion of Dis­ney­land”, say­ing it would of­fi­cially open on May 1.

The com­pany ran a sub­scrip­tion ser­vice on the pop­u­lar mes­sag­ing app WeChat and told con­sumers that who­ever for­warded a pro­mo­tional ad of the ser­vice to a friend twit­ter) have be­come al­most two most im­por­tant plat­forms for busi­ness pro­mo­tion. Com­pa­nies must steer clear of le­gal and eth­i­cal vi­o­la­tions and con­sumers must be ever vig­i­lant about fab­ri­cated in­for­ma­tion,” Zhang said.

In an­other case, a woman sur­named Huang who has been sell­ing cos­met­ics im­ported from South Korea on China’s largest con­sumer-to-con­sumer shop­ping plat­form, Taobao.com, since 2013 with sales vol­ume to­tal­ing $ 16,600 was slapped with an ad­min­is­tra­tive penalty for fail­ing to pro­vide the sources of her pur­chases.

To help con­sumers bet­ter deal with dis­putes over pur­chases made in on­line shop­ping malls, the China Con­sumers’ As­so­ci­a­tion on May 15 es­tab­lished a spe­cial green chan­nel, where con­sumers can file com­plaints to lo­cal con­sumer as­so­ci­a­tions di­rectly and the com­plaints will be trans­ferred to post­ser­vice depart­ment of the e-com­merce busi­ness.

“With­out such a green chan­nel, a con­sumer ei­ther needs to go to the city where the op­er­a­tor of the on­line plat­form is reg­is­tered for com­plaints or wait for con­sumer as­so­ci­a­tions in his or her city to pass on the com­plaint,” said Zhang Zheng, an in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer with the China Con­sumers’ As­so­ci­a­tion.

Al­to­gether, 17 e-com­merce plat­forms, in­clud­ing JD.com, Taobao.com, and vip.com, are in­cluded in the green chan­nel ser­vice.

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