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China Consumers Association today released the “Analysis of complaints received by the National Consumer Association organizations in the first half of 2022”, the analysis shows that in the first half of 2022, the National Consumer Association organizations received a total of 551,780 consumer complaints, an increase of 5.71%, 449,786 cases resolved, the complaint resolution rate of 81.52%, to recover economic losses for consumers 73, In the first half of the year, the national consumer association received 551,780 complaints, up 5.71% year-on-year, and resolved 449,786 complaints, with a resolution rate of 81.52%.

According to the CCA, there are chaotic telecom service charges. Consumer complaints are mainly in the following areas: First, package tariffs are not clear, traffic charges are not transparent, traffic exceeds the SMS alert is not timely, consumers’ right to information is difficult to protect. The second is to induce consumers to open paid services. Some telecom operators market their services in the form of outbound calls, and in the name of “rewarding old customers” or “free membership” to induce or deliberately mislead consumers to open new services, consumers are charged without full understanding of the situation. Third, without the consent of consumers to change the content of the package. For example, some operators without the consent of consumers to change the package or open value-added services, and raise the charges. Fourth, operators artificially set up barriers to switch to the network, consumers portable number transfer “difficult”. For example, consumers are required to go to designated business halls, set up a long contract period of more than 20 years and stipulate that the contract period can not switch to the network.

The CCA said that operators in the telecommunications industry should strengthen their sense of social responsibility, strictly implement the “Telecommunications Regulations”, “Interim Measures for the Supervision and Administration of Telecommunications Service Quality” and other relevant regulations and systems, and try to be simple, transparent and easy to understand when developing relevant service packages and setting billing methods; fulfill their obligations to inform consumers of important terms and key matters to ensure that they are informed and agree. The company should not deceive and mislead the consumers by promoting fee-based services in the name of gifts and rebates. It is recommended that relevant government departments increase supervision to ensure that each telecom operator will implement laws and regulations and policies in place to implement effective governance and strengthen consumer protection for outbound marketing misleading and restricting portable number transfer and other prominent issues reflected by consumers.

There is also the issue of online games, in the first half of 2022, the national consumer association organizations received 18,075 complaints about online games, an increase of about 22.26% year-on-year. The main problems of consumer complaints are: First, online game operators induce recharge consumption. For example, the probability of winning props and cards is falsely marked, and the effect of activities is exaggerated to induce consumers to recharge. Secondly, online game operators change the characteristics of game goods without authorization. For example, online game operators change the attribute parameters of game props, clothing, weapons, etc. without consumers’ consent. Thirdly, it is difficult to refund minors’ recharge. For example, minors use parents’ cell phones to register game accounts for network recharge consumption, which leads to high game recharge refund disputes. Fourthly, disputes are caused by improper follow-up treatment of online game operators’ announcement of service suspension. For example, some online game operators force players to accept unreasonable compensation measures after announcing service suspension and claim that they will delete players’ accounts and data, etc. Fifth, online games involve multiple subjects, and consumers encounter difficulties in maintaining rights. Online games involve multiple parties, such as online game developers, game operators, online game platforms and payment operators, and consumers are prone to be “kicked” by multiple parties in turn when they defend their rights.

The CCA said that online game operators should cherish their brands and reputations, operate honestly and in accordance with the law, stop false propaganda and induce recharging; strictly implement the requirements of real-name registration and login of online game user accounts, strengthen the management of online games to prevent addiction and effectively protect minors; online game service suspension should be announced in advance according to the law, properly handle consumers’ virtual property and protect consumers’ legitimate rights and interests. Parents should pay attention to the protection of their minor children, fulfill the corresponding guardianship responsibilities, reasonably control the length of online games and the amount of recharge for their minor children, and keep their cell phones and the accounts and passwords of relevant payment platforms to prevent disputes arising from their children’s fraudulent use. In view of the disputes over virtual property in online games and other fields, it is suggested that the legislative department should step up its research and introduce the “Virtual Property Protection Law” or relevant regulations as soon as possible to strengthen the protection of consumers’ online virtual property and data rights.


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