Consumer complaints up 46pc

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 August, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 August, 2004, 12:00am

More shoppers are sticking up for their rights

More mainland consumers are speaking up about bad service and mistreatment, according to local media reports.

Complaints to the China Consumers' Association surged 46 per cent year on year in the first six months of the year, the Legal Evening News reported.

Some consumers complained they had been thrown out of hotels, subject to body searches in supermarkets and insulted by shop assistants.

The association said 1,384 complaints about these issues were filed with its 29 mainland branches during the first six months of the year, accounting for less than 1 per cent of the 354,012 complaints received in total.

Association director Wang Qianhu said there had been a large rise in recent years in the number of consumer complaints.

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences law professor Liu Junhai said assaults on shoppers' dignity had become less frequent, but citizens were becoming more aware of their rights.

'[Consumers] will not accept any infringement of their rights,' Professor Liu said.

'These kinds of situations occurred a lot in the past but attracted few complaints.'

He said that despite greater consumer awareness, some businesses continued to treat customers as they always had.

'In the past most business was conducted between state-owned enterprises or departments and there was strong trust between the parties,' Professor Liu said.

'But now business is taking place between private entities and individuals, and both parties just do not trust each other.'

Wang Ning , of the sociology department of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, said businesses should have more respect for consumers and use better technology to monitor shoppers.

'Business managers should realise some losses are inevitable and cannot be rectified by infringing the rights of consumers,' he said.