By Tu Hoang - The Saigon Times Daily
HANOI – Consumer rights are still disregarded as a result of an inadequate legal system, experts told a seminar held in Hanoi on Wednesday.
Nguyen Manh Hung, vice chairman/general secretary of the Vietnam Consumer Protection Association (Vinastas), complained his association was still unable to file any cases to protect local consumers due to financial constraints.
There are no consumers in Vietnam entrusting the association to sue any firms on behalf of them, Hung noted at the seminar organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).
In fact, consumer rights are being violated every day as observed by Phung Dac Loc, general secretary of the Vietnam Insurance Association. A number of organizations and individuals have sold individual information they have to others for marketing purposes without consumer’s consent, Loc said.
Besides, there are many other violations that have been detected, such as food poisoning, fake fertilizer trading and later-than-pledged delivery of homes to buyers by real estate developers.
“Large numbers of violations have been found but the punishments are not strict enough to prevent repeat offences later,” Loc stressed.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Van Anh of Hanoi Law University noticed the presence of several shortcomings in the prevalent law to protect benefits of consumers in the country. Such incomplete rules have caused difficulties for relevant authorities in treating violators.
According to the industry and trade ministry, there were over 550 disputes handled by its agencies with 90.2% settled successfully. Nearly 2,000 complaints have been submitted to consumer protection associations in localities for handling and about 60 cases reported to the Vietnam Competition Authority.