Firms urged to consider consumers first

Thursday, Feb 05, 2015 07:30

Consumers shop at a promotion fair in the central city of Da Nang.— VNA/VNS PhotoThanh Vu
DA NANG (Biz Hub) — Vietnamese businesses have been asked to step up their responsibility in protecting consumer rights, which was highlighted during a seminar held on Tuesday in Da Nang city.

The seminar provided a forum for sharing the experiences of domestic and foreign experts in the field of consumer rights protection, which was co-organised by the Viet Nam Competition Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Korea Consumer Agency.

Speaking at the seminar, Bach Van Mung, head of the authority, said over the years his agency has carried out various activities to boost businesses' sense of responsibility about consumer rights protection.

Mung noted that however, this issue is still relatively new for many businesses. Meanwhile, the rapid development of the market economy and a quick international integration has made the violation of consumers' rights more sophisticated.

Trinh Anh Tuan, the deputy head of the Viet Nam Competition Authority (VCA), told the seminar that the responsibility of businesses to provide information and handle complaints from consumers remains limited. Many businesses do not fully grasp the regulations that are part of the Law on Protection of Consumer's Rights

In addition, the network of authorised agencies, from the central to the local level, lack preparation when it comes to the execution of such rights.

Some industry and trade departments at the local level do not even pay much attention to consumer protection or receive petitions from consumers. At present, the number of social agencies established to protect consumer rights is negligible in all cities and provinces.

Lee Hyun Chang, an expert from the Korea Consumer Agency, said once an incident affects the right of consumers, Vietnamese consumers will face difficulty in having access to the necessary services and will end up wasting a lot of time in handling the problem. The Viet Nam legal system that protects consumer's rights is applied to domestic companies only.

Lee said Vietnamese consumers also need to raise personal awareness about protecting their rights.

At the workshop, participants also raised concerns about enterprises in Viet Nam not taking an active part in the protection of consumers' rights. Due to this, violations of consumer rights occur often.

Phan The Thang, an expert from the VCA, proposed that businesses need to take the initiative of working with consumer protection agencies to quickly address any petitions from consumers and develop an ad hoc unit to consult businesses in this field.

Choi Yoon Seon, from the Korean Consumer Agency, said Viet Nam currently needs a professional policy on consumer care, including product warranty and maintenance programmes and services, and an efficient mechanism for receiving any complaints or handling any disputes.

She added that Viet Nam needed to build a Consumer Centred Management system as Korea has to promote competitiveness and raise consumer benefits. — VNS

Comments (0)