Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Shop with confidence online with new rules

Online shoppers will be protected under new regulations that will require businesses to provide details of the people and company behind the deals, as well as the products and services being traded.

The new Consumer Protection Regulations (Online Commerce Transactions) 2012 to be enforced from July 1 will also require the merchants to provide their business or company registration number.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced this at a press conference here yesterday.

E-traders will also have to display their e-mail, phone number and business address as well as key features of the product or service offered, the full price (including delivery and other costs incurred), payment methods, terms and conditions and the estimated delivery time, the minister said.

“This segment is growing ... that is why the ministry is of the view that if regulations remain loose, more cheating will happen,” added Ismail Sabri, saying the new regulations were gazetted on Dec 21 last year.

He said more than 1.1 million Malaysians spent some RM1.8bil in various online transactions in 2010, and the value is expected to nearly triple to RM5bil by next year.

“Of the 1.1 million online shoppers, 67% are between 15 and 39 years.

“In the next 10 years, this group will mature and continue to use the Internet, and a new group will also follow,” he added.

Police figures showed there were 1,879 online cheating cases in 2011, compared to 551 in 2009.

Online cheating cases heard by the Consumer Claims Tribunal nearly doubled from 18 cases in 2009 to 32 cases last year.

Ismail Sabri said before the new regulations were gazetted, there had not been any comprehensive protection for online consumers in the country.

He said the Consumer Protection Act 1999 provides a fine of not more than RM50,000, a maximum three years' jail or both for the first offence committed by individuals.

The maximum penalty increases to a RM100,000 fine or five years' jail or both for subsequent offences.

Companies or enterprises face a fine of up to RM100,000 for the first offence, and the amount doubles to RM200,000 for subsequent offences.

Source : CLICK


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