Mon, Nov 06, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Couriers urged to help with disputes

FAULT OF THE MESSENGER?According to regulations, delivery services are responsible for making sure that sellers’ names and contact details are correctly provided

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Courier services should help consumers return goods or seek refunds from online sellers if any dispute arises out of cash-on-delivery services, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said on Friday.

The ministry made the statement after being asked to take preventive actions to curb scams involving fake online retailers, following a post on the Online Public Policy Participation Platform that drew support from 5,000 people.

The post referred to fake advertisements on Facebook selling supposedly limited-edition products that offered cash on delivery as a payment option.

Customers found out after payment that the products they received either did not match descriptions or were of low quality, but when they attempted to contact the sellers, they found themselves blocked from their Facebook pages, the post said.

“For products coming from overseas, consumers were often told by customs that they would be saddled with the delivery costs,” the post said, adding that people have formed a group on Facebook to look for ways to reclaim their money.

The post said government regulations clearly state that delivery services can deliver products only if the senders provide contact information in detail, but delivery forms issued by fake sellers often carry only the names of the customs brokers.

This makes it impossible for people to directly contact the sellers, the post said.

The one-page advertisements on Facebook often highlight that consumers can break the seals and inspect the products before paying, but delivery services and customs brokers often leave a written note on the delivery forms prohibiting recipients from doing so, the post added.

The post said the government should demand that delivery services display senders’ contact information on delivery forms. Should the senders fail to provide details, the couriers should refuse to deliver the products, the netizen said.

The Directorate-General of Highways said it has invited the author of the post and courier services to attend a meeting on Sunday next week.

All parties have reached an agreement on couriers’ obligation to help prevent shopping fraud and to assist consumers in handling disputes, the highway authority said, adding that couriers should also filter senders with bad records to reduce the number of disputes.

In July, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee also asked delivery services to study the feasibility of refunding customers for cash-on-delivery products, or of temporarily holding payments to the senders in case of disputes.

Article No. 118 of the Regulations Governing the Management of the Motor Transportation Industry requires couriers to fill in the contact information of the senders on delivery forms, including their names, addresses and telephone numbers.

“If consumers wish to return or ask for refunds for cash-on-delivery products, they can contact the couriers, which should in turn help consumers inform the senders,” the highway agency said, adding that consumers can also ask any motor vehicle office nationwide for assistance.

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