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July 22, 2011

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P&G blasted for tough rules to get refunds

PROCTER & Gamble's refund process for a popular mouthwash that has been recalled because it contains excessive microorganisms is too complicated, cumbersome and unfair, consumers are saying.

The company last weekend announced a worldwide recall of Oral-B Tooth and Gum Care Mouth Rinse. P&G China advised consumers to stop using the product with an expiration date between July 15, 2011, and June 30, 2014.

P&G told consumers to deliver the empty bottle of mouthwash and their receipt to Guangzhou City in southern China's Guangdong Province, plus fill out an application to receive the full refund in 10 to 15 days.

Consumers, however, are finding the process inconvenient and unreasonable.

"We need to download the application, print, fill in all the blanks, and then mail everything from Shanghai to Guangzhou," said Wang Youqi. "This is too much trouble and I don't know when we can receive a reply."

The company imposed a deadline of August 14 for consumers to mail the material.

The Shanghai Commission of Consumers' Rights and Interests Protection said the company, by setting such strict conditions, demonstrated a disrespect for consumers.

"The company should give the biggest convenience to consumers," said Lu Xueqin, an official with the commission.

"Furthermore, the company should also be aware of the security of consumers' personal information, as consumers need to publish their account number and contacts in the application."

The commission urged P&G to grant refunds to consumers through retailers and offer a more flexible deadline.

P&G officials were not available for comment yesterday.


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