Thursday, September 1, 2011

Youngsters march to inform on consumer protection

Saksit Meesubkwang
Thai Consumer Protection Day falls annually on April 30, marked this year with a march by 50 children with the aim of informing local people about their rights in law concerning scams, dangers, victim situations, and the use of the law in consumer protection. Advice was also offered on the correct way to file complaints.
The march began at Thapae Gate, and was organised by Suparadat Suthipornwirot, cooperator with the Consumer Protection Club together with the local Public Health department and the Consumer Protection department in Chiang Mai. Suparadat stated that she hoped all Chiang Mai residents and all throughout Thailand would become aware of how to protect themselves against the many scams and frauds at present being operated, and to know the correct manner to in which to seek their rights and legal redress.
Ten major problems exist at present: the “rice share fraud”; so-called developers taking deposits and absconding; telephone scams offering prizes and requesting funds for transfers, (a variation of the notorious Nigerian internet scams), excessive advertising and sales of motorbikes without after-sales service provision; offering IOU’s to Buddhist monks or donations made by quotes as merit-making; the selling of sweets and desserts with no nutritional value outside schools; gyms which pre-sell memberships and fail to open; low quality, unclean and unsafe food sold in markets and roadside stalls; poisonous puffer fish being used in cooked foodstuffs without knowledge of correct and safe methods of preparation, and low quality foodstuffs with high pesticide content imported from China.
Suparadat stated that the above problems seem to be increasing daily. Efforts by consumer protection organisations to involve the relevant local authority offices have been unsuccessful, as officials seem to be avoiding taking responsibility for the legal rights of consumers.

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