Asean launches information campaign on online shopping

As over 120 million consumers in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) region now shop online, the Asean has launched its first ever regional information campaign reminding them the importance of easy and safe e-commerce purchases.

“It becomes faster, cheaper and more convenient but there are also risks that may cause loss or harm. As consumers, it is important to know that you have the right to information and the right to seek compensation,” said a video on the campaign on online shopping which was launched in all 10 ASEAN members simultaneously on March 16.

It advised online consumers to have a high level of awareness about checking the company registry, reading the product or service reviews, verifying the use of safe websites, and studying the terms and conditions carefully.

“After purchase, if anything goes wrong, do not hesitate to contact the company to demand appropriate compensation,” the infographics on the campaign also said.

It underscored the importance of applying good business practices online.

There should be no fake reviews or removal of negative feedback; fair terms and conditions on delivery, payment, warranties and guarantees; and available mechanisms for dispute resolution and redress, it added.

The video on campaign on online shopping said it is imperative to promote responsible business practices, such as ensuring good quality products and satisfaction services, price transparency and secure payment channels, on-time delivery, and providing a customer care hotline.

“Businesses have the responsibility to respect consumer rights by providing accurate information, addressing consumer complaints, and providing replacements for faulty products or refunds for unsatisfactory services,” it said.

Moreover, the campaign cited the importance of having an effective law enforcement.

“This is achieved by implementing relevant regulations, guiding businesses to abide by those regulations, informing consumers, and encouraging them to exercise their rights. All of these will make shopping online not only easy but also safe for consumers in Asean,” it added.

According to the Asean Integration Report 2019, there were more than 350 million internet users across Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam as of mid-2018.

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