Consumers will be better protected with the law compelling online sellers to display everything that buyers would want to know before making any transactions.
- “Private message me” is a no-no
- Law also applies to those trading on social media like FB and Instagram
- Penalty is RM50k fine or 3-year jail term, or both
Enforcers from the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry will be coming down hard on online sellers, including those plying their trade on social media such as Facebook and Instagram, who do not show their prices of goods and services.
According to the ministry’s enforcement director Datuk Mohd Roslan Mahayudin, online sellers would face the same punishments as conventional retailers.
Individuals running online businesses without observing the eight requirements listed out by the ministry could be fined up to RM50,000 or face a jail term of not more than three years, or both.
Online sellers must display on their sites:
- Full prices of the goods or services, including the taxes and transportation or other costs
- Name of the person operating the business or the company and business name
- Business or company registration number
- Email address, telephone number or address of the person running the business
- Description of the main characteristics of the goods or services
- Methods of payment
- Terms and conditions
- Estimated delivery time
“We want consumers to be better covered. Their rights must be protected and they must be able to make informed purchasing decision with details on prices, the products and services, who they are dealing with and hidden charges at their fingertips.
“So, if a person is selling a cat, for example, he must display the price he wants for it. He cannot simply say ‘private message if interested’. Not anymore,” Roslan said.
Roslan revealed that his team of enforcers included a specific one to smoke out unscrupulous online sellers.
“We don’t have issues with sellers who use online marketplaces such as Zalora and Lazada as most of them comply with our law.
“Our problem is with those using social media to ply their trade.
“We have given them ample time. Now, they have to display their prices or we will go after them,” Roslan added.
Roslan called on the public to work with the ministry to ensure traders complied with the display requirements and tell on them if they failed to do so by calling the enforcement division at 1-800-886-800.