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Law pledges more compensation for consumers

Updated: 2013-10-21 15:23
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - A bill to revise the law on protection of consumer rights and interests, tabled for a third reading on Monday, promises higher compensation for consumer loss.

The bill was submitted to a bi-monthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, which runs from Monday to Friday.

Lawmakers read the bill twice in April and August of this year and are likely to vote on it at this week's session.

The current version of the bill contains an article endorsing higher compensation for consumers who die or suffer serious health problems due to faulty products knowingly sold by dealers.

Dealers shall not only compensate consumers for economic and psychological losses but also pay "punitive" compensation totaling a maximum of twice the amount of the loss, according to the bill.

Offenders will also be prosecuted, the bill states.

The bill bans dealers from forcing consumers to buy or imposing unfair and unreasonable conditions.

The new draft further clarifies regulations on e-commerce protecting the rights of both consumers and businesses.

Though the bill allows e-shoppers to unconditionally return merchandise for refunds within seven days after a transaction, it also requires them to pay for logistics costs.

The new draft expands the list of products not suitable for unconditional returns and refunds. Digital products sold via downloads have been added to the list, which already includes custom-tailored products, fresh and perishable goods, newspapers, magazines, software and audio-visual products with the packaging removed.

According to the bill, consumers can seek compensation from online trading platforms if the platforms fail to provide valid contact details for vendors using their networks. After compensating consumers, online trading platforms are entitled to claim compensation from vendors.