SHAH ALAM: To ensure that consumer rights are better protected, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) will get cracking on online traders by making sure that they display all product details, before finalising transactions.

The ministry’s Selangor chief enforcement officer, Azman Adam said there had been many complaints on online traders asking their buyers to “PM” them, should they require details.

“In effect, it means that an online trader, would only give details of its products with interested buyers through a PM or private message.

“Consumer rights must be protected and they should be able to make informed decisions based on the price and specification of the goods shown online,“ he told a news conference, here, today.

He cited the case of a director of an online furniture company who would be facing court action under Section 145 of the Consumer Protection Act 1999, for failing to include the prices and specification of the items sold and had instead asked prospective buyers to PM the company.

He said KPDNHEP Selangor had received many complaints against the furniture company and decided to raid its premises in Seri Kembangan at 2.25pm, yesterday.

“We met the company’s director and he admitted that the online business which started in August last year, did not show details such as prices and product specifications .

Azman said if convicted, the 41-year-old director could be fined up to RM50,000 and be jailed for up to three years or both.

Azman said last year, KPDNHEP Selangor, received 7,729 complaints on various offences committed by traders and 1,195 of the complaints involved the purchase of online items.

“This year, we have already received 194 complaints regarding online shopping where either the prices of goods were not displayed, the buyers did not receive their goods on time, or the goods received were not as advertised.

“Online merchants need also to display the company’s name (registration), email address or telephone number through which consumers could contact them,“ he said.

He added that the authorities did not prevent those who wanted to ply their trade online, but they must be specific about their products and services offered, and should not mislead their consumers as their rights were protected and could not be ignored. — Bernama

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