Amendment revises list of products eligible for 7-day full refunds
Consumers will no longer be legally guaranteed the right to claim full refunds for products that do not meet their satisfaction within seven days of their purchase after amendments to the Consumer Protection Act were passed yesterday at the Legislative Yuan, removing several categories of goods from the list of products to which the act applies.
The current regulation guarantees consumers the right to cancel or return products that are purchased online, by telephone or mail within seven days for full refunds, even if the goods are not faulty. The amendments passed yesterday, however, rule out fresh food products, perishable and replicable goods, such as apps and DVDs, from the category of products guaranteed full refunds.
Additionally, in order to maintain the balance of the buyer-seller relationship, the amendments authorize courts to grant an award of punitive damages to a consumer as high as five times the original cost of the product in question, an increase from the current three times. According to Chen Hsing-hung
), official of the Consumer
( Protection Committee (CPC,
), when amending the current act, consumer protection laws put in place by the European Commission as well as Japan were also taken into consideration.
App Developers Welcome New Law
App developers responded positively to the new amendments, officials said. In 2011, Google shut down the nation’s access to its Android Market’s paid app section, when the government demanded its consumer guidance to accord with the seven-day full-refund legislation. Only until 2013 did Google agree to allow access again, officials said.
30-day Contract View Period
According to the amendments passed yesterday, buyers of online and phone purchases are granted 30 days to thoroughly go through any standard contracts before contracting with sellers. The contract may be declared invalid by a court if consumers are not allotted the 30-day period.
Furthermore, the amendment strictly orders that detailed information of the seller or enterprise be clearly stated, including the name, telephone number, email, refund policies, how consumers may file an appeal, as well as how transactions may be processed. Officials said that this clause is added so as to ensure that consumers are well-informed of their purchases before making them.
Kuomintang Legislator Chiang Huei-Chen ( ), one of those who supported the amendments, said yesterday that she hopes the new regulations can help to prevent consumers from taking advantage of the Consumer Protection Act, leading to unnecessary losses for product providers.