Telecommunications Ranks First in Consumer Complaint Categories of 2019
According to the statistical analysis of the Department of Consumer Protection of the Executive Yuan (hereinafter referred to as the DCP), there were 52,975 consumer complaints in 2019, of which the top five categories were "telecommunications" (1,963 cases), "housing" (1,561 cases), " "games" (1,407 cases), "mobile phones" (1,371 cases) and "online shopping" (1,323 cases).
The DCP uses the following common complaint cases as examples to remind consumers to pay attention to their own rights and interests:
1. Poor mobile phone signal but high default penalty for contract termination
To take advantage of the new preferential program offered by a telecom operator, Mr. Lin ported his phone number to the new telecom company. However, after signing the contract, he found that the signal reception quality was not as good as expected. Although he had filed complaints to the telecom company, the situations were not improved significantly. Mr. Lin wanted to terminate the contract but was asked to pay a high default penalty.
The main causes for telecom consumer disputes mostly arise from problems such as poor signal reception or network speed, refunds for contract termination, etc. The DCP reminds consumers that when renewing or signing a new contract, they should read the contract attentively during the contract reviewing period and thoroughly test the quality of signals and network speed during the service trial period; if they have any doubt, they should actively ask the operator for clarification so as to protect their own rights and interests.
2. Careless choice of contract renewal plan results in regrettably high telecom bills
As Mrs. Wu’s mobile plan was about to expire, she purchased a renewal plan under the promotion of the customer service staff. Afterwards, she received a text message notifying her that some value-added services, such as ringback tone and online studios, had been opened. Although Mrs. Wu did not need such services, she did not pay attention to the notification at all until receiving the high-priced bill from the telecom company. She asked to stop the value-added services immediately, but the company replied that as the trial period had passed, she could only terminate the services one year later according to the contract.
The DCP reminds consumers that as a telecom operator may offer a variety of tariff plans, they shall not only evaluate their own needs when signing a contract, but also pay attention to the tariffs, the notices explained by the customer service staff, and all the notifications sent by the telecom operator. If the consumers have any doubt, they shall make inquiries immediately to safeguard their own rights and interests.
3. Suspended online game account
Chen is a student who often plays online games. One day when trying to log in, he found that he could not log in his own account. After contacting the operator, he was told that his account had been suspended due to plugin disputes.
The main causes for consumer disputes in online games are the suspension or blockage of game accounts, or issues regarding Internet connection quality. The DCP reminds consumers that when opening an online game account, they should fully and carefully read the relevant standardized contract and game management rules to protect their rights and interests, and avoid their accounts being suspended or terminated by the operator due to inadvertent violation of game management rules. .
4. Quality of goods bought online was not as good as expected but consumers were refused for refunds and returns
Having found a low-priced promotional item on the shopping platform, Miss Wang placed the order in haste. After payment and receiving the goods, she found that the quality was not as expected and wanted to return the goods. Nevertheless, the seller refused because the goods were flawless.
Most of the consumer disputes related to online shopping are caused by rejected returns or defective products, etc. The DCP reminds consumers that although online shopping is within the scope of distant sales and the contract can be cancelled within 7 days after receiving the goods, they should still pay attention to whether there are reasonable exceptions in shopping and choose the seller carefully to ensure their own rights and interests .
Finally, the DCP reminds consumers that the more attentive they are, the more at ease they will be. Thus, before signing the contract, they should fully understand the relevant mandatory or prohibitory provisions in the standardized contract; before purchasing products, they should first check the relevant terms and conditions for returns and refunds so as to safeguard their own consumer rights.