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Banks, insurance firms get most consumer complaints in Vietnam
Publication Date : 17-04-2014
Banking and insurance are the two sectors that elicit the most consumer complaints in HCM City, the Vietnam Standards and Consumers Association (Vinastas) said.
Dao Thi Cuc, a senior Vinastas official, told a conference titled Enterprises and Consumers' Faith on Tuesday that last year her office in HCM City received more than 700 complaints and 137 other cases in which complainants wanted to sue, most of them related to the two sectors.
But the conference heard that in most cases consumers' information was based on what they were told at banks and insurance companies and not on carefully reading the contracts. This often caused conflicts after the contracts were signed, delegates said.
Phan Vu Tuan, a lawyer, said many consumers did not know much about the law or to protect themselves. Insurance is a specialised sector and only people working in it can clearly understand it, he added.
Cuc said to reduce these problems a model contract was needed in the two sectors to protect consumers.
The contracts should be studied carefully by lawyers since now contracts are drafted to protect service providers rather than customers and it is difficult for consumer to identify their rights, she said.
Other products and services that consumers complained about were cosmetics, electronics, advertisements and health care.
Vinastas said last year nearly 80 per cent of claims were settled out of court, most of them relating to food hygiene and safety.
But claims against online traders could not be settled, it said.
It was difficult to protect consumers against monopoly companies in sectors like petroleum, post and telecom, airlines, power and water, it admitted.
Participants said the lack of knowledge of the laws prevented consumers from protecting themselves, adding that the latter should consult lawyers before signing contracts.