Consumers 'get the wrong end of the bargain'

By Guan Xiaofeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-03-15 06:52

On the eve of World Consumer Rights Day, industry and commerce officials vowed to better protect consumers, but a survey released a couple of days ago showed the rights of 44.1 percent of consumers had been "seriously violated".

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Results of a China Consumers' Association study show most of the victims complained about "fake and shoddy products", "false advertisements misleading consumers" and "unaffordable house prices".

More than 42 percent of the victims incurred "major financial losses" and 28.3 suffered "mental stress". One in eight had to endure "physical injury" and 10 percent felt their "personal freedom" had been violated.

Other complaints focused on issues such as "frequent food safety scares", "quality of mobile phones", "defrauding consumers" and "inferior house renovation".

But such incidents may be fewer in future as the government tries to create an orderly consumption environment to better protect consumers' rights.

Vice-Minister of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce Wang Dongfeng said yesterday that the administration would strengthen supervision on the market and intensify its crackdown on illegal cases this year.

"The administration is the main government department to implement the Law on Protection of Consumers' Rights and Interests, and is duty bound to protect the rights of the consumers," Wang said. The law was promulgated in 1993.

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