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March 15, 2010

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TV shopping tops list of complaints

TV shopping, telecommunications and cell phone quality caused most complaints in Shanghai last year, local industrial and commercial authorities said at the weekend.

The lack of regulations and standards was the main cause for the high number of complaints to the city's consumers' hotline 12315, officials said.

The Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau received around 14,150 complaints on TV shopping, almost three times that in 2008. Most were about misleading ads on TV and poor after-sales service.

A consumer surnamed Liu said she bought a cell phone via TV shopping last year, but found that the functions described on the TV program didn't work. Her requests for a refund were refused.

Similar cases also happened to consumers in other provinces.

A TV shopper in Sichuan Province bought a cell phone which claimed to be mounted with a diamond through a Shanghai shopping program, but there was no diamond when he received the phone. He, too, failed to get the refund he requested.

"Among all the complaints on TV shopping, about 70 percent of them were from outside Shanghai," said Sui Bo, an official with the bureau.

"They watched the shopping program on TV and met problems after buying the products," Sun said.

Telecommunications also sparked a lot of complaints last year.

Consumers complained of numerous junk messages and unstable signals.

Some consumers booked service packages from the companies which were canceled for no reason or without notice.

Officials said some telecommunication companies didn't obey the law strictly, and service quality could not be guaranteed.

Cell phone quality was another problem.

"At present the country doesn't have a quality standard on cell phones, thus there is good and bad in the cell phone market," Sui said.

"We have called for a national standard which will make the situation better."

Other complaints covered computer quality, pre-paid card services, food and Internet services.

The bureau received a total of 102,780 complaints last year, up 14 percent from 2008, officials said.


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