Be vigilant, says consumer group as courier sector records RM2.77b transactions due to more online buying

Malaysia’s postal and courier sector recorded RM2.77 billion worth of transactions last month – a 41 per cent growth in market capitalisation since April – thanks to the increase in demand from eCommerce and online marketplaces.

The trend, according to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), is expected to continue until the end of the year.

However, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) said consumers were still being duped by unscrupulous sellers. It urged the government to come down hard on those who ignore redressals to protect the rights of buyers.

Fomca chief executive officer Datuk Paul Selvaraj said non-delivery of items, products of inferior quality and a poor redressal process have been issues plaguing consumers for a long time.

“But the new reality is that more people are going online. It is convenient but there are also inevitable risks,” said Selvaraj.

“Consumers must be educated about the risks.”

MCMC, in its monthly bulletin published today, revealed the postal and courier industry players are seeing a higher than usual courier volume even after the easing of movement restrictions and this trend is expected to continue throughout the rest of the year.

“In 2Q 2020, monthly web visits for the top three merchants in Malaysia (Shopee, Lazada, and PG Mall) rose by 42 per cent compared with 1Q 20201,” read its August bulletin which was made public today.

Selvaraj said it was important to have a complaint mechanism strict enforcement by the authorities.

“Some of the major players are registered entities and they do address complaints. But we also have consumers purchasing from unregistered players which makes it difficult to trace.”

He said the sale of pirated and imitation goods online platforms is still rampant.

“Onsite or online, it boils down to enforcement or the lack of it.

“More importantly, we must look at consumer safety. There must be a need to promote standards … that the products sold are of a certain standard.

“Of course there are many products in the market but let’s take face masks for example. You can buy online or offline but are the masks really protecting you? Are they of a certain standard? What’s the use of wearing masks if the masks are not protecting us?

“It boils down to standards and quality of the product,” he added.

Selvaraj said consumers were able to seek assistance from third parties like the National Consumer Complaints Centre if they are unhappy with the products purchased.

“Redressal systems are crucial. Some companies have effective redressal systems that see immediate feedback and that’s fine.

“But if the company fails to address an issue or ignores the redressal process, then stern action must be taken,” he added.

Here’s a round-up of The News Normal today.


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