Consumers should receive protection in virtual transactions

Conducting transactions online in Industry 4.0 has become so familiar with many people that they consider this method the most popular choice to purchase merchandise instead of the traditional ways of visiting markets or supermarkets. This calls for appropriate legal corridors to protect consumer rights in such virtual transactions.

Online shopping has become increasingly popular in Vietnam

In Vietnam lately, the situation of false advertising for functional food on popular cross-border platforms like YouTube, Facebook has become alarming. Despite being misleading, these ads are quite successful in making people believe them and buy the goods, causing money loss and even damages to the physical health.

The Ministry of Information and Communications has just removed around 2,000 such offensive advertisements running online in Vietnam. This proves that selling goods on the Internet is freely done without strict control of the authorities, and could lead to law violations that are difficult for the state management to handle.

It is these breaches that seriously violate the rights of consumers. Many purchasers have been tricked, and their property appropriated by multi-level sales groups. However, most delegates in yesterday’s National Assembly discussion agreed that the management regulations and sanctions for law breaking cases, especially those related to food, functional food, and medicine, in the draft Law on Consumers' Rights Protection (amended) are not strong enough.

To fill the gap in the law to protect consumers’ rights in online transactions, the National Assembly and the Government should review and add the content on violations of consumers’ rights that might arise during the digital transformation process. Regulations on consumers’ rights protection in special transactions must be included. Sanctions must be heavy enough to be a deterrent against such violations.

Delegate Ha Anh Phuong from Phu Tho Province voiced a reasonable stance, saying that it is not precise in the draft law to consider multi-level selling as a form of direct sales. She explained that this selling form uses a network of members in different levels, some of whom can perform their work online. Therefore, it is necessary to reconsider this content in the law.