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Consumer complaints hotline targets rip-off shopkeepers

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A nationwide hotline number is now in operation to allow consumers to file complaints against shop owners who overcharge for basic necessities. Nation Thailand reports that the Commerce Ministry has launched the 1569 hotline following complaints of excessive charges for essential goods. Shopkeepers are being warned they face penalties of over 7 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of 140,000 baht if they are found guilty of over-charging.

The move comes as many parts of the country are hit by severe flooding and residents are having to purchase supplies to clean and repair their homes in the aftermath. According to the Nation Thailand report, Jurin Laksanawisit says his department wants to help such people and is therefore ordering its provincial offices to keep an eye on pricing in their areas and to take action against businesses charging unnecessarily high prices.

“Dealing with floods is actually the responsibility of the Interior Ministry with cooperation from provincial governors, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and other state agencies. But if people find themselves having to pay unnecessarily high prices, then they can file a complaint via the 1569 hotline, which has been set up by the Commerce Ministry’s Department of Internal Trade.”

At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the Commerce Ministry filed a complaint against online retailer Lazada for allowing vendors to charge excessively high prices for facemasks and other essential items.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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