Consumer complaints hit new high in 2009

11:07, March 16, 2010      

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More than 223,000 Chinese consumers filed complaints on consumer electronics last year, almost double the record in 2008, according to a survey released by www.315ts.net under the China Electronic Chamber of Commerce (CECC).

"Four out of five products that topped the complaints list last year were consumer electronics," Liu Zhuohui, a senior official of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, said over the weekend.

She said her administration accepted a total of 19,303 quality complaints last year, of which 24 percent were about consumer electronics.

The largest number of complaints concerned mobile phones, microcomputers, air conditioners and televisions, she said.

Liu stressed that consumers urgently need a professional body to identify the reasons for so many faults with electronic products, in case sellers seek to avoid their responsibility for the defects.

"The high-speed upgrade of consumer electronics increases the instability of products," she said.

He Xiaolong, the chief of the quality department under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said after-sales service needs to be integrated into chain stores in China.

"We have modern, consumer electronic products, but we do not have modern after-sales services," he said.

Wang Fushan, an official with the CECC, said the soaring number of complaints on www.315ts.net is due to an increased number of visitors to the site, which doubled from 2008 to 2009.

"Consumers are concerned with how sellers deal with their complaints, rather than with the number of complaints," he said.

Around 94 percent of consumers had received feedback after they registered their complaints on www.315ts.net, according to the 2009 Blue Book on After-sales Service of Consumer Electronics released by the CECC on March 12.

The site listed the top 10 consumer complaints about electronics last year. In one case, a consumer surnamed Zheng complained about buying a product from an established brand and then needing to spend money on having it repaired.

"I pay for a television with a good reputation for quality, but I could not afford the money to repair it," Zheng said.

"I was shocked to have received a bill for nearly 3,000 yuan after having it repaired for a second time," she said, adding it was expensive.

Source: China Daily
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