Consumer Protection in Thailand

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Consumer Protection

The Consumer Protection Act, B.E. 2522 (1979) with the first amendment of this Act, B.E. 2541 (1998) provides the consumer rights as follows:

 

The right to receive correct and enough information and descriptions about the goods and services

Consumers have the right to receive information from the business entity through advertising or labels.  This includes the right to get enough information about the goods or services to avoid misunderstanding.

 

The right to enjoy freedom in the choice of goods or services

This means that a consumer can willingly buy goods or service and without any unfair persuasion.

 

The right to safety in the use of goods or services

It is necessary that the goods or services be in a good condition and quality. It must meet the right standard so that there is no harm to the life, body or property of consumers when used according to its conditions and to the instructions.

 

The right to receive a fair contract

This is the right to have a fair contract from a business entity. It must not contain unfair terms affecting a consumer.  For example, a credit card agreement which has terms. Terms which allow changes in the conditions of the card usage fee, service charge, accrued interest without prior notice, as well as a term which allows a business entity to abolish the contract on credit card usage at any time without any notice to the consumer. Finally, no term which indicates the right of the consumer to cancel a contract.

 

The right for consideration and compensation

The consumer has the right to call for compensation if the consumer suffers damage caused by the business entity. Therefore, the consumer can make a complaint for help and support at the Office of the Consumer Protection Board or relevant agencies.

 

CONSUMER PROTECTION IN ADVERTISING

The Consumer Protection Act mentions that goods and services advertisement must not contain a statement which is unfair to consumers. It shall not be affected by a method which may cause harm to health, or may cause physical or mental harm or annoyance to consumers.

The following statements shall be regarded as those which violate this Act:

  1. False or exaggerated statements
  2. A statement causing misunderstanding about the goods or services
  3. Anything that directly or indirectly encourages an unlawful or immoral act, or which adversely affects the national culture
  4. A statement which will cause disunity or adversely affects the unity among the public
Other statements as prescribed by the Ministerial Regulation as follows:
  •  Advertising of goods or services for which a business entity has a sale and promotion by giving products for free or privileges, gambling or competing for prize rewards.  The information must include the regulations,  conditions, methods, starting and ending dates, detail of free products, as well as the value of  free products in total, and wherever the consumers can receive the free products.
  • Advertising a blessing by members of the Royal Family and using information about the Monarch must not include details of goods or services in the advertisement. Trademarks or other details, such as address, website,  email, telephone numbers, are not allowed.  However, it can mention the name of the company or the composer.
  • Advertising of land, house and condominium by a business entity must contain specially relevant details including the starting and finishing dates of construction, the registered number of  land certificates, total area of land, license number of land allocation, name of  person who allocates the land, and the name of land business entity. It must also indicate the time of  transferring ownership according  to the  conditions of the contract.  A statement must show whether any image in the advertisement is real, or an imitation.

In case the Committee on Advertisement has a reasonable ground to suspect that any statement used in an advertisement is false or exaggerated, the Committee on Advertisement shall then have the power to issue an order requiring the advertiser to substantiate the claim.

Given these points, any businessman who is doubtful whether his advertisement will violate or does not specifically conform to this Act may apply to the Committee on advertisement for consideration and opinion, or to clarify on such matter before advertising.

Reference: A Handbook for Disseminating Knowledge for Consumers – Office of the Consumer Protection Board