Sat, Feb 04, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Legislator takes aim at shoddy courier services

By Jean Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

A legislator yesterday called for more effective management of motorcycle express-delivery services, saying that consumers' rights are often violated because there are no laws specifically regulating the business.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said at a press conference yesterday that many express delivery businesses remain unregistered, and offer no guarantees for lost or damaged items.

Huang said that motorcycle services are primarily used to deliver documents.

Many businesses decide their own delivery charges, often sparking conflicts with consumers due to unregulated and arbitrary prices, Huang added.

Huang played a recording of a telephone conversation between a consumer and the head of a motorcycle delivery service at the conference.

In the recording, the head of the service said that the business was registered as a "personnel dispatch business" and was therefore legal. He also said that the office was not responsible for the customer's lost documents since it was the delivery personnel that lost them.

Lan Tsung-chin (藍聰金), a section chief at the Department of Commerce under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said that registered personnel dispatch bus-inesses provide cleaning or security personnel, and should not encompass delivery services.

However, the department deals only with business registrations, Lan said. These services are run are under the management of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) and their laws, he added.

Wang Chi-chou (王基洲), a specialist at the Department of Railroads and Highways under the MOTC, said that motorcycle services are illegal since the Highway Act (公路法) only allows automobile delivery services.

Wang said that any motorcycle delivery businesses discovered by the ministry will be closed down and fined NT$50,000 (US$1,562) to NT$150,000.

Pizza or lunch box deliveries do not count as "delivery bus-inesses" since they are delivering their own products, Wang said.

Wang said that the ministry will discuss the feasibility of allowing motorcycle delivery services in the future.

A representative from Chung-hwa Post said that according to the Postal Law (郵政法), only Chunghwa Post and or its authorized affiliates can deliver letters, postcards, or any "communication documents."

Other companies are only allowed to deliver packages or products, but not letters, he said.

Huang said that motorcycle delivery services are also in violation of the Postal Law because they overlap with Chunghwa Post services.

Liu Ching-fang (劉清芳), director of supervision and coordination at the Consumer Protection Commission, said that they have not received complaints from consumers regarding motorcycle express-delivery services, but will request that the MOTC take steps to better monitor the business.

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