Under the guidance of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), the leadership of the chairperson and vice chairpersons, executive directors and directors, and the generous support of members of the public, in 2010 the China Consumers' Association (CCA) undertook the following:
● Performed functions as directed and required by the Third Conference of the Fourth Council;
● Implemented decisions made at the 17th National Congress of the CPC, the Third, Fourth and Fifth Plenary Sessions of the 17th Central Committee of the CPC, and the Central Economic Working Conference;
● Implemented the Outlook on Scientific Development in practice;
● Highlighted the theme focus for the year, “Consumption and Service”;
● Functioned in accordance with the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights and Interests;
● Improved the capabilities of CCA organizations at all levels;
● Enhanced the influence and credibility of CCA organizations at all levels;
● Provided better services for consumers;
● Expanded domestic demand and boosted household consumption demand;
● Bolstered social and economic development; and
● Made new achievements in every aspect.
1、2010 focus activities and World Consumer Rights Day activities
The CCA launched the Knowledge, Skills and Services to Countryside project together with the China Household Electrical Appliances Association, various inspection authorities and agencies, and household electrical appliances manufacturers located in Wuqing District, Tianjin. The Xinhua News Agency, the People's Daily and CCTV reported the event. The project was also conducted in Shanxi, Jiangxi, Hunan, Xinjiang, Changchun and Xi'an in order to improve the provision of services for consumers in those regions.
The CCA convened the Consumer Complaints Settlement Services Seminar 2010, inviting the departments and other authorities concerned to share their experiences in the protection of the legal rights and interests of consumers and to discuss strategies and methods designed to improve the level of services provided for consumers in the evolving social circumstances.
The CCA sponsored and participated in the CCTV Evening Gala on World Consumer Rights Day with the aim being to combine the 2010 theme with the Gala theme. CCA secretary-general Yang Hongcan took the opportunity to release a new warning for consumers at the Evening Gala. CCA branches in Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Jiangsu, Chongqing, Shaanxi, Gansu and Hangzhou organized TV galas, and the CCA Shandong branch initiated a special event to publicize the importance of protecting the rights and interests of consumers.
The CCA co-opted the news media to publicize World Consumer Rights Day by:
● publishing specials on Xinhuanet.com,
● reporting CCA activities in Xinwen Lianbo and Morning News and on Daily Agriculture Information on CCTV,
●publicizing policies, rules and regulations regarding consumer rights protection, and
● discussing recent CCA work outcomes and the 2010 focus theme activities on a high-profile interview special on Xinhuanet.com.
The CCA designed and printed 2010 theme posters to vividly portray the significance of the Consumption and Service theme. The Association arranged 14 interviews across fields including auto, housing/decoration/home furnishings, indoor lighting, financial products and banking services, TV shopping, cosmetics, industrial furniture, and cultural items and artifacts, as well as in the quality standards in an endeavor to create a consensus in the community with regard to the protection of consumer rights. The CCA organized a photography contest - Consumption Changes Your Life - which focused on the ways in which the flourishing consumption market has completely changed consumers' lives over the last three decades, and illustrating how consumption has played a major role in boosting economic development.
2、Consumer education and guidance initiatives
The CCA reviewed and revised the Consumer Education Work Outlines and edited the Collection of News Reports on Consumer Education to further promote consumer education. CCA branches in Heilongjiang, Jiangsu and Ningxia conducted consumer education in schools; the Zhejiang branch initiated an educational activity entitled Ecological Consumption; the Sichuan branch invited deputies to the local People's Congress to undertake a consumer survey; the Qingdao branch highlighted low-carbon consumption; and the Shenyang branch explored the establishment of a long-term consumer education framework.
The CCA issued warnings and tips about consumption and infringements of consumer rights in relation to frequently occurring problem areas and those about which consumers have expressed concern, such as construction of houses in rural areas, students buying sub-standard glasses, China Mobile's Fetion SMS service enabling unsolicited messages, harmful toys found in schools, disposable diapers for babies, installation of air-conditioners, solar energy heaters, online air ticketing, packaged decoration products, and unqualified medical advice and products.
The CCA released the results of inspections of socks, mass-produced wood flooring, water storage container cleaners, sunscreens and skin whitening products, digital cameras, office and children's furniture, disposable diapers for babies, and wooden doors, thereby providing objective, accurate and useful consumer information. CCA branches in Hebei, Shanghai, Hainan, Yunnan and Guangzhou also released consumer information to help consumers identify counterfeit and forged products and avert ill-advised purchases.
The CCA, in collaboration with industry organizations, conducted 19 lectures on the purchasing of automobiles, and provided guidance for consumers by editing and distributing various publications, such as:
● Guide to Home Appliances Suitable for Rural Areas,
● Consumer Guide to Buying Oak Flooring,
● Housing Manual for Farmers,
● Basic Knowledge for Car Purchases (Fourth Edition),
● How to Select a Solar Energy Heater,
● How to Identify Contents Labels on Cosmetics,
● Service Standards of the Chinese Wood Flooring Industry, and
● Consumer Guide for Cabling during Home Decoration.
The China Consumers magazine underwent an overhaul, placing greater emphasis on complicated consumer rights protection issues and highlighting consumer rights protection reports of CCA organizations, with layout changes including clearer formats and columns, and improvements in the general quality of the magazine. The revised and updated magazine was very well received by local CCA branches and consumers in general.
3、Monitoring and supervising the delivery of goods and services
The CCA organized braches in Beijing, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Ningbo, Shenzhen, Jilin and Sichuan to undertake investigations and assessments of telecom charges, car recalls, hidden purchase terms & conditions, prepaid services, tourism, banking services, online trade sample contracts, and sample rules and regulations. The investigations and assessments came to a conclusion bringing favorable social impacts. CCA branches in Shanghai, Guangdong and Guangzhou had a presence at the World Expo Shanghai 2010 and the Guangzhou Asian Games. Branches in Shandong, Chongqing, Hubei, Guangxi, Xinjiang, Jinan, Wuhan and Chengdu also completed a variety of service delivery assessments.
The CCA rated satisfaction levels amongst purchasers of mobile phones, commercial bank services, postal services, and telecom services, making the results known to goods and service providers in these sectors, as well as to the general public, and urged future improvements in the light of the results. The CCA also completed the rating system and revised the satisfaction rating rules in the insurance sector and for consumers of utilities, such as water, electricity and gas.
The CCA engineered improvements in the breast milk substitutes market by imposing stringent supervision on market dynamics, releasing the Supervision Report of the Breast Milk Substitutes Market, and advocating for comprehensive improvements in the relevant laws and regulations, enhancement of government surveillance, and intensification of the supervisory function of the media. The UNICEF China Office and the National Working Committee on Children and Women of the State Council endorsed and backed the work of the CCA in this regard.
The CCA inspected postal counter services in 31 municipalities and provincial capital cities, examined the legal compliance of post offices, urged postal service providers to improve the quality of service delivery, and advised on administrative supervision.
The CCA undertook an investigation into consumer personal information protection, discovering that the personal information of consumers is frequently misused and that the prevailing laws and regulations fail to adequately protect the personal information of consumers. The CCA consequently appealed for enhancements in national legislation and improvements in enterprise credibility to protect consumers' right to privacy.
The CCA continued its Month of Boosting Commerce with Integrity activity in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and various other authorities so as to advance the focus on enterprise integrity-building.
In response to the publication by a particular industry association of a manual entitled Trade Rules, the CCA, with major input from the CCA Beijing branch, reported to the National Development and Reform Commission that the Rules violated the Anti-monopoly Law and infringed consumers' rights, and endeavored through multiple channels to have the publication prohibited and the rules contained therein abolished.
4、Dealing with consumer complaints
In 2010, consumer associations across the country dealt with 666,255 consumer complaints, and recovered RMB 675.27 million of losses incurred by consumers. The CCA legal service mailbox received 2,167 enquiry letters, and all were processed.
For high profile issues involving many consumers and/or strong complaints such as the Toyota car recall, HP laptop quality, Toshiba TV set quality, KFC preferential package, Midea red stoneware pot, competition between Tencent and 360, and iPhone4 sales, CCA proposed suggestions to settle the disputes with its focus on the protection of the rights of consumers.
The CCA strengthened its method of analysis of consumer complaints, published quarterly reports on the complaints of consumer associations at all levels, provided references for government departments and industry associations for the development of policies, and urged enterprises to improve product and service delivery quality. The CCA analyzed and reported on complaints about home electrical appliances and cars, and the CCA Agricultural Machinery Complaints office completed its agricultural machinery complaint analysis report. The complaint reports included details about the status of consumer rights protection along with suggestions from consumers.
The CCA established a complaints handling platform and continuously updated and improved it to expedite the development of an effective complaints conciliation mechanism, to make it easier for consumers to lodge complaints, and to facilitate conciliation. CCA branches in Beijing, Hebei, Liaoning, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Fujian, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Harbin, Sichuan, Gansu, Nanjing and Hangzhou developed new approaches to the protection of consumers' rights and helped consumers to settle disputes.
5、Research into relevant legislation and other
The CCA undertook surveys and studied various terms and conditions in connection with consumer organizations in the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Consumer Rights and Interests, translated and printed the Collection of National and Local Laws and Regulations on Consumer Rights Protection and the Collection of Local Rules and Regulations on Consumer Rights Protection, and made theoretical and documentary preparations for revising the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Consumer Rights and Interests.
The CCA drafted suggestions for the revision of the Cash Management Rules, Law of the People's Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution, Judicial Interpretation of the Supreme People's Court on Tourism Service Disputes, and Commercial Housing Pre-sales Contract (Example), solicited suggestions from local consumer associations on the People's Mediation Law (Draft), and reported these suggestions to the relevant authorities. The CCA proposed revision advice on 30 national and industry standards, including the Package Recycling Labels, Sports Products After-sales Services, Requirements for Removals Service Providers, Service Standard Compilation Rules, Standard Service Working Guidelines, and Courier Service Terms, Organizational Requirements and Services. Additionally, the CCA organized local branches to put forward suggestions on the revised version of the detailed issuance rules for production licenses for the products of 101 industries.
Commissioned by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the CCA convened a Television Three Guarantees Seminar and a Computer Products Three Guarantees Seminar. At the seminars, industry experts, lawyers, consumers and representatives from consumer associations in Beijing and Shanghai exchanged ideas with representatives from more than 50 companies on the exact starting point of the Three Guarantees period, spare parts renewal, the supply of spare parts after production of a particular product ceases, and return and replacement of goods. The CCA delegation advocated strongly for the expectations and requirements of consumers.
The CCA continued its research of consumer rights issues and delivery of the findings to the competent authorities. The CCA discussed the issue of commercial bank service charging, including the nature of commercial banks, the basis of charging, standards and principles, and relevant laws and regulations, and reported the discussion outcomes to the National Development and Reform Commission and the China Banking Regulatory Commission, both of which took the CCA proposals into consideration.
The CCA and the China Express Association held a workshop to discuss express courier services. Industry experts, lawyers and representatives from CCA local branches spoke about the unsatisfactory receiving processes of courier services and proposed methods of improvement. The Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily and China Consumer Journal reported extensively on the workshop.
At meetings and hearings organized by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the SAIC, National Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, and NPC Law Committee, the CCA relayed consumer opinions on the issues of fixed phone line monthly rent, monitoring of e-commerce, and revisions to the License Examination Rules on Enterprises Producing Infant Formulas, Responsibilities of Repair, Replacement and Return of Certain Commodities, and the Civil Procedural Law. The CCA also gave advice on the protection of consumer rights regarding multistep electricity pricing, enterprise statement samples, quality assurance for consumables, and real estate market order.
The CCA conferred Work Innovation Awards on 15 local organizations based on the work summaries of local branches in order to encourage innovation in working methodologies and processes in the light of the evolving practical situation and to promote the capacity of consumer associations to perform their duties. The awards established a sense of innovation and motivated branches to develop more new approaches.
The CCA initiated a half-year national education program to raise the level of those responsible for the protection of consumer rights in the safeguarding of consumer rights and interests according to law. The program is designed to improve study on politics to consolidate the political firmness, focus on expertise training to improve own quality comprehensively and workplace discipline in order to strengthen the sense of organization, and to reinforce the ability of publicity campaign so as to cultivate emergency response competence.
The CCA assisted SAIC with the statistics collection tasks of local consumer associations, consumer complaints offices and contact points, as well as disseminating information to local organizations to assist with the prioritization of organizational building. Consumer associations in Liaoning, Shandong, Henan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Tibet, Qinghai, Xinjiang and Dalian energetically advanced organizational building to expand and perfect the consumer rights protection network.
The CCA convened a national journalists conference and completed national spokesperson training, reviewing the journalism experiences and actions of consumer associations throughout the country in recent years and identifying journalistic orientations and emphases for the coming years. The CCA guided prefecture-level branches and delivered three training sessions for more than 300 prefecture-level general secretaries. The training programs enabled exchange and collaboration between local consumer associations.
The CCA studied and formulated a five-year development plan designed to guide and direct the work of consumer associations.
7、Implementation of IT systems
The CCA expanded its work on the delivery of information to the public over the internet, timely reporting of CCA World Consumer Rights Day activities, adding Consumer Rights Protection Special 2010 to the website, organizing online collaborators and others across the country to add links, and designing a logo for downloading by associated organizations. Furthermore, the CCA amplified the influence of Consumer Rights Protection Special 2010 among low-level organizations, launched Local Specials of Consumer Rights Protection 2010, and collected information from local organizations about their various activities in a timely manner.
The CCA undertook the National Survey on IT Application in Consumer Associations, grasping the exact processes of IT building in provincial consumer associations, laying a foundation for future website construction, and making preparations for improvements in the complaints and consultation mechanisms.
The CCA official website (www.cca.org.cn) released 1,339 items of news and recorded 560,000 visitor hits during 2010.
8、Exchange and cooperation with foreign counterparts and others
The CCA sent a delegation to Spain and Germany to study the advanced experiences in consumer rights protection in those countries. The delegation members had exchanges with foreign counterparts with regard to legal systems, organizational structure, expenditure on personnel, workplace experiences and other issues of common concern.
The CCA sent representatives to attend the Consumers International Asia-Pacific & Middle East Conference in Malaysia, and sent a mission to the UK to visit British financial service regulatory institutions. The CCA itself received visitors from consumer associations in the US, Singapore, Germany, and other places .