Deputy Chairman of the Viet Nam Standards and Consumer Rights Protection Association Nguyen Manh Hung told Nong thon ngay nay (Countryside Today) newspaper about the chaos that plagues online trading.
Acting as the representative of consumers, what is your perspective of the situation facing online trading in Viet Nam?
First, I have to say that online trading or e-commerce is a civilised and useful method of trading.
However, the trading format has been misused in this country, creating (unnecessary) risk for consumers and applying a negative impact to the development of e-commerce and the country's overall socio-economic development.
Can you provide more details about the risks that consumers face in buying or selling online?
Feedback from consumers showed various forms of risk inherent in online purchasing. They sometimes received poor quality or fake products from online sellers and returning these products took too long. We have received numerous customer complaints about fake products being sold online.
What do you think of the current sanctions against violations related to online trading?
We already have two decrees (Decrees 52 and 185) on online trading management. However, the management of products sold online in virtual markets is more difficult than that of products in regular markets or shops.
The problem now is that we don't have a strong enough system or sanctions against violations in online trading. Commercial transactions on online forums or social networks are not being managed by any authority.
How should the system for online trading management be changed to address online trading violations?
I think current sanctions against online trading violations are not strict enough. For example, a fine of VND20 to 30 million (US$1,000-1,500) for selling fake goods, banned items and online treatments is inadequate because these crimes have a negative effect on society and people's health.
So we need heavier sanctions to eliminate all violations related to online trading in Viet Nam. People should learn the risks of consumption when buying items online. Relevant organisations and government authorities must join hands to protect consumers. — VNS