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Friday, July 19, 2024

Consumers need better protection

By Dr. Vo Dinh Tri

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When the story of an overdue credit card debt that has shot up from a mere VND8.5 million to a whopping VND8.8 billion over 11 years is on everybody’s lip, a question was raised: if the customer was aware of this situation, would it have happened? Contracts for banking, financial, insurance, and investment services are places where service providers often embed terms favorable to themselves. Therefore, consumers need to be protected through regulations and the effective enforcement of law. Consumers at a disadvantage The terms in service contracts are always a major challenge for consumers in general. Firstly, the content is often lengthy, causing most people to scan through, if they even read it at all, focusing only on the important parts. Therefore, there are terms that are disadvantageous (unfair) to consumers in determining rights and obligations towards service providers. For example, terms allowing unilateral changes by the provider without notice, cases exempting the provider’s liability, or terms hidden in appendices. Secondly, there is a lack of transparency in the terms. This is often seen in small print at the bottom of the page. For example, concessional interest rates may be clarified to apply only for a certain period, such […]
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