Consumer Council Executive Committee President Wong Hon Neng said Tuesday that the government-run organisation was considering simplifying the handling of arbitration cases, so that consumers involved in any disputes would have their cases resolved faster.
Wong made the pledge on the sidelines of a ceremony to launch a stamp commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Consumer Arbitration Centre, where he also called for local shops to improve the quality of their services as a way to avoid any unnecessary disputes.
According to Wong, after a complaint is filed to the council, officials first contact the shops or companies in question to establish the nature of the problem. They will also negotiate with shop representatives and consumers who file complaints to reach a solution satisfactory to both sides.
But in case both sides stand firm and refuse to give in, the council mediates through its Consumer Arbitration Centre. Wong added that such a process usually takes about two weeks to be started, suggesting that it was possible to reduce this period.
“We are attempting to consolidate the process. Our goal is to resolve consumer disputes in the easiest way possible,” Wong was quoted by The Macau Post Daily as saying.
The Consumer Arbitration Centre only handles disputes between consumers and shops if the cost of the purchase is under 50,000 patacas.
Wong also revealed that the council is exploring the possibility of raising the amount in order to tackle more such disputes in the future, but he did not say by how much the amount could be increased. He added that there was no specific timetable on when it would happen as it involved many legal issues.(macaunews)