Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Up to 44 per cent of consumers whose rights were violated when purchasing goods do not report the problem, the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Việt Nam Competition Authority (VCA) reported yesterday.
The report is based on a survey of 3,000 respondents, conducted in March and April in 12 areas.
More than a half of those surveyed said their rights and benefits were violated at least one time when purchasing goods.
Phan Thế Thắng, deputy head of VCA’s Office for Consumers Right Protection, said the number of complaints in the food and beverage sector was highest, accounting for 20 per cent of the total, followed by electronic home appliances with 13 per cent, and daily necessities with 13 per cent.
“The results were not surprising given the problem of unsafe foods, weak guarantees of electronics, and troubles with mobilephones and telecommunication services,” Thắng said.
The survey also found that 25 per cent of consumers were sold low-quality products, 18 per cent were disturbed by unwanted marketing and advertisements, 16 per cent were cheated in the quantity of goods they bought, and 12 per cent believe their products were fraudulent in origin.
Fraud in expiriration dates also accounted for 10 per cent of the total, while lack of product guarantees accounted for 7 per cent.
However, the respondents did not complain about the violations due to the low value of the deals (39 per cent) or complicated claim procedures (22 per cent). In addition, up to 11 per cent of consumers were not aware of agencies that could help them resolve their complaints.
Only 20 per cent of the respondents chose to ask for support from consumer protection agencies and 36 per cent of the total complained directly to businesses.
Most of those polled said Government agencies had not been effective in resolving their complaints (43 per cent), due to complicated administrative procedures (27 per cent) and ineffective supports from officials (21 per cent).
Phạm Quế Anh from the Deutsche Gesellschaft for International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) said consumers are aware of their rights as over 70 per cent of the surveyed people know the Law on Consumers Rights Protection.
“However, the importance is to implement the rights,” Anh said, adding that consumers haven’t known how to do so.
She suggested that the market management departments and associations for consumer rights protection should build an information database on complaints.
On the other hand, she said management authorities should apply a modern process in resolving complaints to help poor people and those in remote areas access it. — VNS