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Companies fined for misleading public
From:Shanghai Daily  |  2019-03-13 09:29

Convenience store chain FamilyMart has been fined for a misleading advertisement, the Shanghai Market Supervision and Management Bureau announced yesterday.

It is one of 10 typical cases involving the infringement of consumer rights being publicized ahead of World Consumer Rights Day on March 15.

FamilyMart was fined 20,000 yuan (US$2,981) for failure to specify the rules of a coffee promotion.

It did not inform consumers of detailed rules on product exchanges in advance, and sold products based on misleading descriptions, which violated China’s law on the protection of consumers’ rights and interests.

The fine was imposed by the Putuo District Market Supervision and Management Bureau.

Muyingzhijia.com, a maternal-child shopping website, was also fined by the Xuhui District Market Supervision and Management Bureau for claiming its baby formula had the effect of “preventing allergy and diarrhoea,” according to the bureau.

The milk powder was just normal infant formula product and had no such effect, the bureau said.

In addition, Tom’s World, an entertainment company based in Shanghai, was also fined after three types of toys inside its claw machines were found to have quality problems, according to the bureau.

The substandard toys were confiscated with illegal profits seized, the bureau said without revealing the amount.

These typical cases involved property management, education, online consumption and medical treatments.

Last year, market watchdogs citywide received 764,500 complaints and tip-offs, and busted 25,600 illegal cases with 502 million yuan in fines and confiscated property.

Among the 626,500 complaints, home furnishing topped the list, covering quality flaws in furniture, kitchen products, bags and suitcases, delivery and installation, product tags and advertisement wording, according to the bureau.

Transportation ranked the second, with complaints about deposit return and wrong charges for shared bikes, service disputes with airlines and railways, road accident rescue fees and towing fees.

Clothing and shoes, food and catering and accommodation were also hotbeds of complaints, the bureau said.

Outline of complaints

The Shanghai Consumer Council also publicized 10 typical complaints yesterday.

E-bike firm Xiangqi had 37,653 complaints last year, accounting for 18 percent of the total complaints, according to the council.

Delayed deposit return, abnormal charges and poor after-sales servicewere the major problems.

Apartment rental website Yujiangongyu.com drew 891 complaints for failure to return deposits and remaining rental fees. It also encouraged tenants to take out loans from third-party financial institutions which they had an interest in.

About 600 complaints,involving 40 million yuan, were registered against decoration company Youjuke, according to the council.

The company charged full decoration fees from consumers in advance, then gave the projects to third-party decoration companies.

However, about 800 decoration companies did not receive project fees in time and this led to large-scale project suspensions.

The company is in bankruptcy and financial settlement procedure, the council said.