Select and use safe products and services

  • By NaingOo (DOCA)
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Opening ceremony of World Consumer Rights Day (2018) in progress.  Photo: DOCA

There’s a saying in Buddhism that it was easier for a pin coming down from the sky to hit head on another pin coming up from the earth than to attain a life as a human being. To state it more simply, human life is precious and hard to get. But nowadays, there had been many instances of that precious human life being harmed or wasted away by unsafe products and services.
Consumer protection work for consumers to attain their full rights is important so that a person can live out his/her full life using safe products and services and for businesses to compete fairly.
People depend on the products and services of businesses such as food, cosmetic, building material, electrical appliances etc. to fulfil their daily food, clothing and accommodation requirements.
They want products and services that are safe and beneficial for them. An economist had once said that people changes expectations or hopes with money.

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Therefore, businesses had the duty to fulfil the hopes and expectations of the consumer saccording to the cost it charges for its products and services.
For products and services to be reliable and safe for the consumers, it is important to abide by the enacted laws, follow to the letter departmental instructions and notifications as well as to be in accordance to set national and international standards and norms.
Reliability and safety of the products and services is dependant not only on the producer of the product or service provider only but all along the supply chain of exporter, importer, distributor, wholesaler and retailer as well. At all the stages, the reliability and safety of the products and services are to be assured.
Remedial action should be taken for any damage caused by the product or service so that there is no harm to the consumer.
Due to unreliable and unsafe products and services, Myanmar had been facing following occurrences.
1. Consumption of food exceeding the expiry date or include illegal or harmful chemical causing dizziness, vomiting, loss of consciousness, sickness or even death
2. Paying high price for peanut oil claimed to be hundred percent pure but contain other oils, illegal or harmful chemicals and scents causing diseases and illnesses
3. Usage of low quality and sub-standard construction materials resulting in early deterioration or collapse of buildings causing death, injury and loss of properties
4. Vehicle maintenance conducted with unqualified persons and/or sub-standard parts resulting in accidents causing deaths and injuries
5. Illegal import of low quality or sub-standard medicines causing harm and death to people
6. Cosmetic products without quality assurance causing harm to people
7. Construction works conducted with low quality and sub-standard parts rather than advertised parts causing consumers to get less value than the amount paid for
8. Low quality and sub-standard electrical products causing fire and electrical shocks resulting in injury, loss of life and property
9. Products and services not provided as announced, advertised or guaranteed
10. Using social media to provide fake products and shares
11. Faking of bills and overcharging
Despite repeated and widespread media coverage of such occurrences, sadly there still were many instances of ignorant people facing such unwanted fate.
That was why Ministry of Commerce Department of Consumer Affairs has drawn up an amendment bill to 2014 Consumer Protection Law to strengthen and make it more comprehensive in protecting the consumers. The department, together with relevant and related departments were conducting following works to protect the more than 50 millions of consumers or people in Myanmar.
(a) Consumer complaint work committees and product assurance work committees formed in states, regions and districts
(b) Conduct field inspections with relevant and related departments on production works producing products and taking appropriate actions when any unsafe process and parts was included
(c) Exchanging news and information with ASEAN countries
(d) Acquiring market news and information and assuring/inspecting safety and reliability of products
These works were conducted through educative talks, discussions, field inspection as well as taking of legal actions.
It is difficult and takes time to establisha work that produces good products and services. But a work that produces good products and services could be destroyed and its reputation tarnished in a short time by providing lousy product or service.
A work that was established with much financial, human resources and time couldn’t exist for long or become successful if unreliable products and services were provided.
The business founder and responsible persons will also losses trust and honour resulting in an unrecoverable and unredeemable situation.
Both the businesses and consumers must not face any losses.
To prevent this, businesses must provide/produce products and services that are safe and reliable.
Businesses are to provide/produce products and services that are safe and reliable while consumers are to consume safe and reliable products and services. (Translated by Handytips)

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