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Ha Noi to promote consumer rights

Update: March, 02/2013 - 05:00

Customers shop at a Vietnamese goods fair. The fair is one of many activities to raise public awareness of consumer rights to mark World Consumer Rights Day on March 15. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet

HA NOI (VNS)— Raising public awareness of consumer rights will be a key target in a wide range of activities to mark World Consumer Rights Day on March 15th held by the Ha Noi People's Committee and local enterprises.

Deputy Director of the city's Industry and Trade Department Phan Tien Binh told Kinh te & Do Thi (Economy & City) newspaper that the city would launch an action month for the purpose next Wednesday, the third of its kind held in the city since 2011.

During the month-long programme, enterprises across the city will commit to providing high quality products at reasonable prices, ensuring the basic rights of consumers.

PICO Electronics Supermarket plans to extend guarantees for products sold during the month and offer maintenance coupons on certain products.

Hapro supermarket plans to offer a discount of at least three per cent on each bill.

This year, the number of participants has nearly double since 2012, and there are three times as many enterprises taking part since the first action month.

The move was also expected to help consumers have easier access to made-in-Viet Nam products and thus boost consumption, Binh said.

The city had also set up a consumer rights hotline to advise customers on the issue or to help them contact relevant authorities to report violations, he added.

In 2011, the line received over 5,000 calls, and 75 consumer complaints were sent to the city's Market Watch and Consumers' Rights Protection Association.

Last year, 95 complaints were sent to local authorities.

The city was working with relevant agencies and experts in consumer rights to open training courses to raise public understanding, especially over basic rights, Binh said.

He noted that although the Consumer Rights Protection Law became effective two years ago, few consumers were familiar with it.

The city's Market Watch was also asked to boost inspections and detect violations, he said. The head of the Anti-Counterfeit Goods Group under the Ha Noi Police, Ha The Hung, said that violators in cases relating to counterfeit goods and intellectual property violations were using more and more sophisticated tricks, making it difficult to detect and punish them.

Last year, the city's economic police cracked down on 130 violations and prosecuted 24 cases, he announced at a recent year-end summary meeting over fighting and preventing counterfeiting.

"In the fight against the production and trading of counterfeit goods, both enterprises and consumers need to be vigilant so they are not duped," he said. — VNS

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