Development of Public Awareness Models for Consumer Protection: Models and Guidelines

Public awareness campaigns are an important tool for consumer protection agencies to advance their policy goals. Though many countries have sound legal frameworks for consumer protection, consumer regulators are unable to be ‘everywhere at once’ to enforce the rules. Consumers’ awareness of their legal rights and ways of gaining redress and the steps they can take to protect their own self-interest and safety are an important adjunct to promoting a flourishing consumer marketplace. The aim of developing public awareness models for consumer protection in ASEAN is to offer a generic approach that can be adapted and applied by agencies in ASEAN Member States (AMS)to a range of environments and circumstances. The models need to be flexible to enable them to be adapted to various needs and contexts for implementation across all AMS, recognising the cultural and economic differences between countries in the region. This report comprise of two document: Consumer Education Models. This document presents three different Models that target the different resource capacities and experiences of consumer protection agencies within ASEAN. The models AMS intentionally presented at a broad level to account for the different priority areas that each AMS may have for consumer education. The models are not intended to constrain adaptation and innovation. The broad level of the models also allows for them to remain applicable to AMS as conditions and priorities change. The Models are designed to be tailored to a range of contexts, and to be implemented by regulatory bodies, consumer agencies and NGOs. The Guidelines. This document complements the Models. It is designed to help individual AMS plan a consumer protection initiative. To...

Six Modules on Strengthening Technical Competency on Consumer Protection in ASEAN

These modules aim to enhance AMS with effective capacities to adopt and implement consumer protection laws at the national level. They serve as resource materials for training, focusing on technical requirements provisionally involving consumer concerns and demands in 6 core areas: – Consumer Credit & Banking Module – E-Commerce – Environment – Health Care – Product Safety and Labeling – Professional Services These modules were developed through collaboration with UNCTAD. Related project: Strengthening Technical Competency on Consumer Protection in...

Consumer Protection Digests and Case Studies – a Policy Guide (volume 2)- 2015

Manufacturers and retailers of goods, other than those for immediate consumption, regularly offer consumers an ‘express warranty’ — an undertaking to repair or replace the goods should they break or otherwise prove defective within a specified period. In some cases these express warranties are ‘voluntary’, in the sense that they are provided by the retailer or manufacturer without additional charge. Another type of express warranty is an extended warranty — an undertaking by the provider of the express warranty (who may be the retailer, the manufacturer or a third party) to repair or replace faulty goods for a specified ‘extended’ period, over and above the period of the voluntary express warranty. It is purchased by the consumer through a contract separate from the original purchase. The benefits provided to consumers by both of these types of express warranties are dependent largely on the terms of the warranty and the consumers’ own preferences. Two additional critical factors that may be addressed by consumer protection legislation are: the rights of the consumer to enforce the warranty against the retailer or manufacturer who provided it whether sufficient information is available to consumers to allow them to make meaningful choices based on the existence of the warranty. This publication discusses best practices in the consumer protection law in place in AMS, Australia, and the European Union in responding to various issues. Consumer rights and guarantees in regard to goods and services that are provided by statute are discussed in Digest 11, included in Volume 1 of this publication. Policy Guide Vol....

First ASEAN Consumer Protection Annual Conference 9 December 2014

As online consumer marketplace grows at a rapid rate and offers considerable potential economic and consumer benefits, the regulation will need closer attention. Further, consumer protection faces increasing challenges with mobile money environment and the rapidly changing technology. To address these challenges, ASEAN held its first ASEAN Consumer Protection Conference (1st ACPC) from 8-9 December in Hanoi, Viet Nam. The Conference aims to be a platform for experts and relevant stakeholders to network and exchange experiences and best practices. The Conference generated fruitful discussions and exchange of views on the development of consumer protection in ASEAN and engendered discussions on the future direction of regional consumer trends and challenges. The 1st ACPC deliberated on a wide range of topics on current issues and challenges relating to financial transactions, consumer product safety, e-commerce and development of consumer redress mechanisms. Participants included government bodies handling consumer protection schemes, researchers, NGOs, private practitioners and business associations, and other relevant organisations involve in consumer protection enforcement. The Conference was organised under the auspices of the ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection and hosted by the Vietnam Competition Authority. Session 1: Emerging Themes in Consumer Protection in ASEAN Session 2: Financial Transactions Session 3: Consumer Product Safety Session 4: E-Commerce Session 5: Development of Consumer Redress Mechanism Session 6: Institutionalizing Consumer Protection in Developing Countries Session 7: Summary and Conclusions Related project: Supporting Research & Dialogue on Consumer...

ASEAN Complaint and Redress Mechanism Models (2014)

Consumer protection is an essential tool in building a people-oriented ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The AEC prioritises the interests and welfare of consumers in the implementation of strategies for achieving an integrated economic region. Consumer protection laws must ensure fair competition and the free flow of information in the marketplace. ASEAN Member States have differing levels of administrative capacity, available resources, public and private sector culture and capacity to adapt. In addition, each has a different political and administrative system and so there is no single consumer complaints and redress system which will fit all countries. Rather, models based on principles which might be adapted to any system are a preferable approach to gaining adequate levels of consumer protection across all countries. The paper presents models for complaint handling systems and consumer redress schemes which may be suitable for implementation in the ASEAN Economic Community. This includes redress mechanism and complaint handling models for national consumer protection agencies, regulatory institutions, industry Ombudsmen, Small Claims Courts or Tribunals and for business complaint system operators. The models are based on identified international best practices and feedback from ASEAN Member States. Goals for complaint systems and redress schemes in ASEAN Member States: Enhancing the welfare of all ASEAN consumers Building a sound ASEAN economic community Promoting quality and accountability in business and government   ASEAN Complaint and Redress Mechanism Models Guideline for the Selection and Implementation of the Complaint and Redress Mechanism   Related project: Development of Complaint and Redress Mechanism Models in ASEAN...

Consumer Protection Digests and Case Studies – a Policy Guide Volume 1 (2014)

This Policy Guide is part of a broader project entitled, Supporting Research and Dialogue in Consumer Protection that aims to enhance knowledge and understanding of new and emerging consumer protection concerns and to make possible better policy directions through the synthesis of experiences and lessons learned. It is an essential part of a wider institutional capacity development for consumer protection and is a multi-dimensional challenge involving a full range of stakeholders, sectors and issues. Drawing on the expertise of consumer protection experts and academics, Consumer Protection Digests and Case Studies: A Policy Guide – Volume 1 presents 12 Policy Digests and two Case Studies that explore key consumer protection issues in the ASEAN context. The Policy Digests cover key issues relevant to consumer protection such as consumer credit and debt, product safety regulation, online purchasing, telecommunication services, unfair sales practices, product liability, responding to complaints about misleading information and practice with low-cost airlines, fraud in price discounting, statutory guarantees of quality in the supply of goods and services, and money transfer fraud. The Policy Digests also explore the interface between competition and consumer protection policies, as well as a specific focus on professional services markets. The Case Studies provide in-depth investigations into online consumer market and the regulation of unfair contract terms in ASEAN. These digests and case studies are intended to assist in the development and strengthening of consumer protection systems by highlighting and sharing information on key issues on emerging concerns. It is expected that these will contribute to raising awareness and stimulating dialogue among the business community, professional associations, and appropriate academic and non-government organisations to...