How do Vietnamese laws protect customers’ rights of who buy goods via livestream?

Writer: Ngan Nguyen

VN laws protect customers’ rights who buy goods via livestream

Selling via livestream is an activity in which a seller uses livestreaming function on the Internet and directly sell goods or services during the time of a live stream. This is basically a form of online businesses and appears regularly on many platforms of social medias (Facebook, Instagram, Bigo Live, Youtube, Livestream, etc.), and e-commerce websites and mobile applications. Recently, livestream has become popular to everyone. However, some people have abused livestream to sell goods not being consistent with what they announced, listed, advertised or committed.

By this short article, our attorneys will provide you an overview on how to protect your rights as customers over livestream activities.

What are responsibilities of sellers on livestream?

Selling via livestream are subject to the laws on e-commerce, including the following legal documents:

  • Decree No. 52/2013/ND-CP on e-commerce;
  • Circular No. 47/2014/TT-BCT on the management of e-commerce websites; and
  • Circular No. 59/2015/TT-BCT regulating the management of e-commerce activities via mobile application.

As being sellers on e-commerce platforms, livestreaming sellers must comply with regulations on e-commerce activities and have the responsibilities to:

  • Provide accurate information about their names, addresses, and contact methods for the service provider of e-commerce trading floor;
  • Provide full information about goods and services while ensure the accuracy and truthfulness of such information. The information includes characteristics, prices, transaction conditions, delivery and payment methods of goods and services;
  • Comply with regulations on payment, advertising, promotion, protection of intellectual property rights, protection of consumers’ interests and other relevant laws; and
  • Other responsibilities as prescribed in laws on e-commerce.

What are legal rights of customers buying goods via livestream and how to protect them?

Customers buying goods online have the right to understand accurately and fully about the sellers and their goods including origins and characteristics. They can also request for invoices, vouchers, documents or other necessary information about the goods for guarantee.

However, it still takes some risks for customers as they cannot check or verify the actual quality of goods before making any decisions. To resolve this matter, Law on Protection of consumers’ rights provides some solutions for customers to protect their own interests. Accordingly, when the goods are not consistent with what the sellers have announced, listed, advertised or committed, customers can legally claim compensation for damages caused by such inconsistency. The inconsistency can be about technical standards, quality, quantity, features, uses, prices or other contents stated by the sellers.

In case of dealing with an individual seller doing business independently and regularly without having to register for business, customers can possibly ask to change goods or return goods to receive back their money if spotted the inconsistency. If the above requests are not fulfilled, customers can complain, denounce or sue the sellers to protects their lawful rights. Besides, customers can request for the involvement of a competent authorities to implement necessary acts for protection. The competent authorities as mentioned are the Vietnam Consumers Protection Association, market surveillance authorities and other competent authorities.

What penalties can be applicable to sellers selling unqualify goods?

Sellers violating against customers’ interests shall, depending on the nature and seriousness of their violations, be administratively sanctioned. If causing damages, they must make compensation in accordance with provisions of law. In addition, individual sellers could also be prosecuted for criminal liability.

Acts and penalties of administrative violations against the protection of consumer rights and e-commerce violations can be found in Decree No. 98/2020/ND-CP. In which, regarding to unqualify goods, the violation might belong to one of the following acts:

  • Selling counterfeit goods in terms of use value and utility;
  • Selling counterfeit goods on goods labels or packing;
  • Selling expired goods or goods of unknown origin;
  • Violating against regulations on providing information of goods or services to consumers; or
  • Defrauding customers on e-commerce website or mobile application.

Depending on seriousness of the violation, the seller could be subject to a fine of up to VND140,000,000. Also, the seller might take additional penalties (if any).

Inclusion, customers buying goods via livestream should really be aware of the products they are buying. So, when noticing any fraud from the sellers, customers may implement immediate measures to prevent or handle the violations as soon as possible for their own good.

Read more if you are concerning on who can purchase duty-free goods from 15 October 2020 in Vietnam.

Should you have any questions on this matter, please contact us at consult@blawyersvn.com. We appreciate your concern and are more than happy to support you.

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