CUSTOMER RIGHTS IGNORED
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