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Con­sumers be­lieve their rights are pro­tected by law but many com­pa­nies are dup­ing their cus­tomers with fake or poor qual­ity goods.

— While con­sumers be­lieve they are pro­tected by law, the ac­tual prac­tices of com­pa­nies do not of­ten fol­low the le­gal doc­u­ments, said Leâ Thò Thanh Laâm, di­rec­tor gen­eral of the Saøi Goøn Food Cor­po­ra­tion, at a work­shop in the cap­i­tal city yes­ter­day.

There are no statis­tics on fraud­u­lent trad­ing in Vieät Nam, but many in­ci­dents have been well pub­li­cised in mass me­dia.

Ñoaøn Phöông, pres­i­dent of the Vieät Nam Stan­dards and Con­sumers As­so­ci­a­tion (VI­NATAS), said his as­so­ci­a­tion had worked hard to raise aware­ness among en­ter­prises on the neg­a­tive con­se­quences of sell­ing fake and low-qual­ity goods.

“We also launched a cam­paign to en­cour­age con­sumers to boy­cott il­le­gally im­ported or faked goods, ” Phöông said. “ We ask them to only buy goods with ge­o­graph­i­cal in­di­ca­tors or marked coun­try of ori­gin.”

Hoaøng Vaên Phaùi, a con­sumer from Hai Baø Tröng Dis­trict, Haø Noäi, re­called his ex­pe­ri­ence with fraud­u­lent trad­ing.

“Once I bought 10 boxes of Taâm naõo khang (a drug pre­scribed for stroke vic­tims) and paid VNÑ 3.7 mil­lion (US$222) for them. How­ever, af­ter tak­ing the drugs, my right leg swelled for a cou­ple of weeks,” he said. “I de­cided to send a pe­ti­tion to VI­NATAS and ask for help. Fi­nally I got VNÑ 2 mil­lion (nearly $100) as com­pen­sa­tion from the drug com­pany.”

By telling his story, Phaùi hopes that con­sumers na­tion­wide will re­alise they have rights and take pre­cau­tions be­fore de­cid­ing to buy any goods or ser­vices.

He urged the Govern­ment to give more power to VI­NATAS to help pro­tect con­sumers’ rights.

“We need strong mech­a­nisms to set things in or­der, as well as hu­man re­sources,” Laâm said.

She asked mar­ket watch­ers to con­duct fre­quent checks for poor-qual­ity prod­ucts and take strict ac­tions against vi­o­la­tors, and the mass me­dia to em­pha­sise that en­ter­prises have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect con­sumers’ rights.

Vöông Ngoïc Tuaán, VI­NATAS un­der sec­re­tary, said the core is­sue now was com­plet­ing the State ap­pa­ra­tus to pro­tect con­sumers. —

Cus­tomers look over goods at Co.op traPlus Hy­per­mar­ket in HCM City. The govern­ment has been urged to give more power to the Vieät Nam Stan­dards and Con­sumers As­so­ci­a­tion to help pro­tect con­sumers’ rights. — VNA/ VNS Photo Thanh Vu

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