Bet­ter con­sumer pro­tec­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT -

THE SEC­OND DRAFT OF AMEND­MENTS TO THE Law on the Pro­tec­tion of Con­sumer Rights and In­ter­ests was sub­mit­ted to the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the National Peo­ple’s Congress on Mon­day for re­view. Com­pared with the first draft, it of­fers bet­ter pro­tec­tion to con­sumers be­cause of its harsher terms in their fa­vor.

The lat­est draft re­quires busi­ness own­ers to pay com­pen­sa­tion of up to three times the price of any sub­stan­dard prod­ucts or ser­vices sold to con­sumers, com­pared with the two times com­pen­sa­tion ceil­ing pro­posed in the for­mer draft.

The coun­try’s ex­ist­ing law on con­sumer rights, which was en­acted in 1993, stip­u­lates that com­pa­nies should pay com­pen­sa­tion equiv­a­lent to the price of any flawed prod­ucts or ser­vices sold in­ten­tion­ally. This has been widely crit­i­cized as be­ing too low to de­ter peo­ple from pro­duc­ing fake or shoddy goods. The mea­ger com­pen­sa­tion has also damp­ened con­sumers’ en­thu­si­asm to go through the nec­es­sary pro­ce­dure to claim com­pen­sa­tion.

Even rais­ing the com­pen­sa­tion ceil­ing to twice the mone­tary loss of a con­sumer was con­sid­ered in­suf­fi­cient to pro­tect con­sumers.

A harsher penalty for com­mer­cial fraud means a big­ger step to­ward safe­guard­ing the rights and in­ter­ests of con­sumers, es­pe­cially at a time when the num­ber of dis­putes be­tween con­sumers and pro­duc­ers is ris­ing.

As in the first draft, the lat­est amend­ment also ex­tends to shop­pers the right to un­con­di­tion­ally re­ceive a full re­fund if they re­turn pur­chases within seven days of the goods be­ing re­ceived, but this time it is more spe­cific about the ex­cep­tions to this, list­ing cus­tom-tai­lored and fresh prod­ucts, as well as soft­ware, au­dio-vis­ual prod­ucts, news­pa­pers and pe­ri­od­i­cals that were un­sealed by con­sumers them­selves. At the same time, it also stip­u­lates that sell­ers do not have to pay the trans­porta­tion fees, a move that will help avoid the un­re­strained re­turn of goods by some con­sumers.

The new draft also stip­u­lates that ad­ver­tis­ing spokesper­sons will share li­a­bil­ity for de­cep­tive ad­ver­tis­ing, a clause that is badly needed. The shar­ing of li­a­bil­ity will make celebri­ties think twice about the prod­ucts they en­dorse.

At a time when its eco­nomic growth driven by in­vest­ment and ex­ports is run­ning out of steam, China is striv­ing to make the tran­si­tion to a con­sump­tion-led econ­omy. Un­doubt­edly, the pro-con­sumer draft amend­ment will help fa­cil­i­tate this.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.