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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Few consumer hotlines in English (2)

By Dong Zhen (Shanghai Daily)

13:44, March 19, 2012

"The number of foreign callers on daily basis is very few," a recipient on the 12365 commodity quality hotline said.

The 962200 community hotline, which helps people find services such as locksmiths and shops to repair household appliances, also said there's no plan to make the service bilingual.

Other hotlines that do not provide English services include the 12369 environmental hotline, where people can report pollution cases, the 12319 urban construction hotline for complaints on a wide range of transport and construction services, and the 112 hotline for emergency repairs for telephone and broadband TV (IPTV) breakdowns.

The investigation showed the government's tourism, weather broadcast, airport, police and emergency hotlines smoothly provide English services.

Some expats said that while they want the government to improve English services on these hotlines, more efforts should also be made to publicize them in the media.

"We need to know about these services and more media exposure could certainly help," said a Canadian expat who has lived in the city for nine years.

He said he found English service, especially at restaurants, has substantially improved in recent years but for English language convenience, Shanghai still can't compete with international cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore.

Still, expatriates can always ring up the 962288 hotline, dedicated to assisting foreigners in addressing daily life inconveniences. It is available 24 hours a day and provides service in English and other languages.

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