Consumer Union mobile app to encourage ‘habit of complaining’

By SU MYAT MON | FRONTIER

YANGON — The Myanmar Consumers Union has launched an online consumer complaint system that allows the public to submit their grievances through either a mobile application or website.

Secretary U Maung Maung said at the launch on Wednesday that the union hoped the system would create a “habit of complaining”.

He said that until consumers began to complain about substandard goods and services there would be little improvement. “No blame, no progress,” he told reporters.

People in Myanmar do not complain because there is no easy process to do so and few legal options.

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The online complaint system will seek to address this and will be available in both Myanmar and English languages. The app is already available for download, while the website will be launched by the end of the month.

But the MCU will not solve problems between businesses and consumers, Maung Maung said. Instead it will screen and forward complaints to the Consumer Dispute Resolution Committee within the Yangon Region government.

Formed in 2012, the Myanmar Consumers Union seeks to uphold eight basic rights of consumers: the right to the satisfaction of basic needs, right to safety, right to be informed, right to choose, right to be heard, right to redress, right to consumer education and right to a healthy environment.

Maung Maung said union’s guidelines are based on a model provided by the United Nations.

He said the union hopes to raise awareness about consumer protection by having World Consumer Rights Day, marked annually on March 15, declared a national holiday.

Some steps are already being taken to improve awareness, he said, adding that a consumer education subject has been added to middle school textbooks.

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