Research & Paper, What's New | November 1st, 2010 |

I. Introduction

1. It is imminent for the Government to further strengthen the legislation combating unfair trade practices, in a bid to alleviate the disparity between consumers and business under current market environment in the nearest future. In the light of this, The Professional Commons (hereafter “The ProCommons”) generally agrees to extend the coverage of the existing Trade Description Ordinance, subject to amendments, to service industry. As the proposed legislation is of crucial importance to safeguarding people’s wellbeing, particularly their basic rights as a consumer, it would be advisable to incorporate the following principles:

  1. All kinds of trade practices that infest consumers should be seriously addressed;
  2. The amendments should be considered the “lowest possible standard” for the sake of regulating unfair trade practices of all kinds, by which all sectors of trade should maintain without any exemptions;
  3. Various sector-specific rules and regulations should still be valid on condition that standards accordingly should be up to par, as far as the lowest possible standard is concerned;
  4. The proposed mechanism aiming to effectively settle disputes between consumers and business, via negotiation to compliance, are not supposed to be watering down the significance of law enforcements. In so doing, the presence of a clearly identified body responsible for law enforcement, as well as a set of punitive measures in association with the seriousness of offences committed, could help combat unfair trade practices in a forceful manner;
  5. The imbalance in information on consumer end should be seriously addressed in order to safeguard their right of being informed;
  6. Empowerment on consumers through embodying their title to appeal is also an effective means of combating unfair trade practices;
  7. Consumer rights are by nature manifold, therefore protection of consumer right to choose should also be achieved through enactment of other rules and regulations.

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