HP "quality complaint", sign of China's growing awareness of consumer rights

13:48, March 15, 2010      

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Chinese consumers are becoming more aware of their rights, as a recent joint complaint filed against U.S. computer giant Hewlett-Packard shows.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine has received an official complaint filed by a lawyer representing 60 consumers, said an administration spokesman Sunday.

An investigation has been launched, the spokesman said.

The computer giant is under fire from hundreds of buyers in China over its laptops' faulty graphic chips and display screens, with some cases dating back to 2007.

Aside from those who have filed the complaint, there are many others with similar grievances who have contacted the online law consulting community, 148365.com.

As of March 15, international consumer rights protection day, 500 consumers had provided evidence and signed an agreement that they wished to file a complaint with the group, and more than 3,300 people expressed their willingness to join.

"We've made great progress, as traditionally Chinese consumers do not complain. Now by using this joint effort approach, more consumers are aware of their rights," said Wang Yufeng, a lawyer in the group.

"My HP laptop began overheating and having screen problems on August 30, 2009, the problems were not solved after it was repaired three times within half a year. So I sued them and got all my money back," Ruan Xiao, an undergraduate at east China's Zhejiang University.

"But I didn't know other people had the same problem as me. I would have joined the rights protection activity, as I really don't like HP's attitude towards the problem, " he said.

China's consumer market was growing fast, said Zheng Yumin, director of Zhejiang Administration for Industry and Commerce.

"More multinational corporations are attracted to China's huge market, and they seem to be taking advantages of people's lack of awareness about their consumer rights," he said.

But Zheng said awareness was growing, which was good because it would make international companies ensure their products' quality and consumer services were up to standard.

Source:China Daily
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