Consumers sore about quality issues can now claim their compensation easily and quickly under a new trial program.
Under the scheme, which will be launched next Wednesday in Putuo District, a third party credit company will compensate the consumers after the market watchdog finds quality or infringement problems.
The market supervision bureau of Putuo and the Zhima Credit under the Ant Financial, the financial arm of Alibaba, jointly announced the initiative. It will initially cover restaurants, supermarkets and even businesses such as barber shops.
“The program aims to protect the consumers’ rights and push the businesses to ensure quality,” said Hao Jianru, director with the consumer rights protection department of the bureau.
The program encourages business operators to join a league of “reliable merchants” and sign a guarantee to ensure food safety, products’ authenticity and hygiene conditions.
In return, the credit company will promote the listed merchants on its platforms and offer them higher credit.
However, if the watchdog finds any quality problems from the signatories, consumers will receive immediate compensation triple the amount of up to 500 yuan (US$79).
The business operators will have to repay the amount to the credit company later.
For instance, if an eatery is found using swill oil, all the customers will be compensated, Hao said. Further fines and punishments will be imposed according to regulations. “The program is like an additional punishment against illegal businesses, but customers are easily compensated,” Hao said.
The first batch of 40 eateries and businesses in Putuo including the branches of Yang’s Dumpling and Gll Wonton, two popular fast-food chains in the city, have joined the program.
If successful, it will be promoted citywide.