Vietnamese consumers keep silent after rights violated: survey

By Bui Hong Nhung   August 13, 2016 | 08:59 pm PT
Complaints in the food and beverage sector were highest.

Up to 44 percent of consumers surveyed do not report problems although they are aware of their rights, according to a poll conducted by the Competition Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The survey, which polled nearly 3,000 respondents from 12 provinces and cities between March and April about the problems Vietnamese consumers face when it comes to purchasing goods, was released Friday.

According to its findings, more than half (56 percent) of consumers said that their rights and benefits had been violated at least once25 percent said thay had been sold low-quality products; 18 percent were disturbed by marketing and advertisements; 12 percent were sold products with fake origins and 8 percent didn’t receive invoices for their goods.

Phan The Thang, deputy head of the Consumers Right Protection Office, said that complaints in the food and beverage sector were highest, accounting for 20 percent of the total, followed by electronic home appliances and daily necessities at 13 percent each.

“The results were not surprising as unsafe food and warranties for electronic gadgets are raising concerns among Vietnamese customers,” Thang said.

Despite these high rates, many consumers remain silent and don't lodge complaints. Only 20 percent of those questioned said that they had asked authorities to help while just 36 percent took these issues back to business owners or sellers.

Pham Que Anh from the German Corporation for International Cooperation (known as GIZ) said that most buyers are aware of their rights when some 70 percent know about consumer rights and consumer protection laws.

“However, the bottom line is to implement these rights,” Anh said.

She suggested that authorities should build an information database on complaints and adopt a modern process to resolve them to ensure that even citizens from remote areas can speak out.

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