Over 1,700 complaints over online shopping

PETALING JAYA: The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry has seen as many as 1,731 consumer complaints related to online purchases during the movement control order (MCO) period.

Out of that number, nearly 70% of the complaints have to do with customers not receiving the item or service from merchants.

Other grievances include complaints that the items ordered did not meet expectations or the prices being advertised were misleading.

An official from the enforcement division said the complaints were received from the start of the MCO until April 28.

The ministry ran 39,002 checks on premises of retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers during the same period to check profiteering.

There were 122 cases in which merchants were found to have violated the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011.

The total value of the seized items was RM20,706, while the compounds issued amounted to RM79,250.

Many merchants had failed to display the prices of items, while some were selling items, such as face masks, above the ceiling price.

The ministry advised members of the public to be savvy consumers and to plan purchases instead of giving in to panic buying.

“Consumers must know their rights to avoid being taken in by dishonest merchants.

“Consumers do not have to worry as the supply of essential items is enough, and it is able to meet the needs of the country consistently and in an accessible manner,” the official said.

The ministry also warned merchants to obey anti-profiteering laws, stating that “firm action will be taken against parties who break such laws”.

“This includes imposing hefty compounds, and should they fail to pay the compounds, action will be taken in court,” the official said.

Consumers can channel complaints to the ministry via 1-800-886-800, 03-88826088, 03-8826245, or e-aduan.kpdnhep.gov.my.
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