Hanoi works to improve consumer protection

10:07 | 01/05/2018 Society

(VEN) - Hanoi is boosting the dissemination of public information to raise consumers’ awareness of their rights and protect their interests.

hanoi works to improve consumer protection
A delegation of Hanoi Industry and Trade Department officials surveys a Vinmart supermarket in the Royal City

Customer appreciation

This year, Hanoi marked Vietnamese Consumer Rights Day (March 15) for the eighth time. To draw consumers, the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade organized a three-day sales promotion event from March 16-18 with the participation of 30 leading businesses, including the Hanoi Trade Corporation (Hapro), Vietnam Telecom Services Company (Vinaphone), Vinmexcom supermarkets and major bookstores.

Major manufacturers and distributors also arranged 60 points of sales at supermarkets and trade centers, such as Vinmart, Hapromart, BigC, V+, Mediamart, Pico, HC and EcoMart. To protect consumer interests, the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade has activated a hotline, 024.1081, to answer questions and provide advice.

A representative of Vinmart said the supermarket chain had held a week-long consumer appreciation program in the capital, with two sales promotion points at Vinmart Royal City and Vinmart Time City.

A representative of Coop Mart Ha Dong said the supermarket participated in the program not only by reducing the prices of various products but also by increasing customer care and activating a hotline to deal with complaints.

Media Mart Ha Dong Director Vu Hong Khanh said the supermarket would hire additional staff to serve growing customer demand, reduce prices or offer customers promotional gifts.

hanoi works to improve consumer protection
The logo of the “consumer rights” program at Vinmart Royal City

Consumer rights violated

Although the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights has been in effect for years and is widely disseminated, consumer rights are still being violated due to their lack of knowledge about the law. According to the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade, surveys conducted at some points of sales, such as Vinmart Royal City, Coopmart Ha Dong and Mediamart, show that consumers remain unaware of their rights. Among them is the right to complain, sue or ask social organizations to take legal proceedings on their behalf in accordance with the law. The law also provides the right to receive advice and information about goods and services. Notably, consumers still don’t know how and where to complain about goods and services apart from the places where they buy their products.

The Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade Deputy Director Nguyen Thanh Hai said not only the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights but other laws also have limited effect. Moreover, those assigned to enforce the law and supervise its implementation have yet to fulfill this task effectively, often discouraging consumers from complaining.

Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade Director Le Hong Thang said the city would continue disseminating legal documents pertaining to consumer rights in order to develop consumer awareness of self-protection, while at the same time improving the sense of responsibility among state management authorities and social organizations in protecting consumer rights. From April to July 2018, Hanoi’s districts, businesses and lower secondary schools will join a program to disseminate laws and regulations on consumer rights.

According to the Vietnam Competition and Consumer Rights Protection Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City led localities nationwide in dealing with consumer complaints in 2017. Hanoi dealt with 371 complaints and Ho Chi Minh City with 249, accounting for 37.2 percent and 25 percent of the total, respectively. They were followed by Hai Phong City and the provinces of Dong Nai, Nghe An, Bac Ninh and Binh Duong with 1-3 percent, each.

Nguyen Hanh