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December 27, 2011

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DaVinci's newest battle centers on compensation

SHANGHAI-BASED DaVinci Furniture Co Ltd is engaged in a "weibo war" with local industrial and commercial authorities over the issue of compensation after the furniture seller was fined 1.33 million yuan (US$209,895) last Friday for selling unqualified products.

The company said on its official microblog on that it has set aside 120 million yuan to deal with consumers' complaints after media reports that the company lied about products' place of origin. Despite denying the accusation, the company still tried to compensate "consumers who were kept in the dark."

It said it had also handed over a detailed compensation list to the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau. The bureau, however, said on its official microblog that it has never received compensation information from DaVinci, and indicated that the company was "dishonest."

DaVinci replied on that bureau officials "attacked the company with mean words" and urged the bureau to go to the court.

The Shanghai Commission of Consumers' Rights and Interests Protection said the company actually handed over the information to the commission rather than the bureau, but officials don't consider it an effective list.

"The information doesn't include the consumers' full names, contact information or the receipt consumers received," said Zhao Jiaoli of the commission. "So we can't tell whether the information is authentic."

"Besides, compensation to consumers has nothing to do with the bureau's punishment," she added.

The bureau also cited a litany of other shortcomings regarding products sold by DaVinci, from vague labels to false claims about "solid wood" materials.


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