Know your rights as a consumer

By Patricia Hului
@pattbpseeds
[email protected]

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Earlier this year, a photo of a receipt for two glasses of iced milo costing RM8.40 charged by a food court at a Samariang hypermarket went viral.

Even though this led to a positive result where the food premise was investigated for profiteering, “consumers nowadays would complain to social media such as Facebook instead of filing an official complaint to KPDNKK first,” said Fadly Hasbi, a speaker from the Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK).

He said this during a community talk organised by Sarawak State Library on Mar 11 to enlighten some 150 members of the public on their customers’ rights.

“Some consumers assumed that without any receipts, they wouldn’t be able to file any complaints,” Fadly said.

According to him, these were one of the many misconceptions consumers had, saying that even if consumers lost the receipts, they would still able to complain.

As for KPDNKK’s role, any complaints should be investigated and reported back to the complainer within 21 days.

“As long as the consumer filed a report to KPDNKK, we would do our best to investigate,” assured Fadly.

He also pointed out that, location was not a problem for KPDNKK to investigate any exploitation of consumers’ rights.

“No matter how far in the interior the location or even if it is in the wee hours, we would still go and investigate.”

The KPDNKK officer who used to spend seven years working in Sabah before being transferred back to Sarawak last year shared that once their operations took them to village in interior Tenom at 3 o’clock in the morning.

“At that time, we were investigating based on complaints there was rubber being sold too low from the market price,” he explained. “Hence, you can see location and time are not problem for KPDNKK.”

He also shared consumers can do market price survey online through www.1pengguna.com/1pengguna.

“Just insert what products, which state and area, then from there you can see which premise offers the lowest price.”

Fadly explained there were many reasons why retailers offered different prices on the same product.

“Some of them bought the items in larger bulk and in return received FOC (free of charge) of the same products,” he said. “Then they can offer lower price since they have more items in stock.”

According to Fadly, most consumers do not know their rights and fail to complain if there is any profiteering from business premises.

He advised, “Do not be afraid. There will be now action taken against the consumers if there is no wrongful action found on the sellers after complaints are being filed.”

“We still take action on any complaints even if they are being done anonymously.”

Fadly stated filing a complaint to KPDNKK is now as easy as making phone call to any KPDNKK office or send a message to 15888 or just log on http://e-aduan.kpdnkk.gov.my/eaduan/aduanbaru.php?lang=1.

This community talk was the first of its series organised by the state library this year.

The next talk ‘How to make money: Passive income’ is going to be held Mar 26 from 2.30pm till 4.30pm at the Sarawak State Library auditorium.

The entrance is free and those who interested can contact Muhamad Ali Abdul Wahab 082-44200 ext 330 or drop an email to [email protected].

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