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Substandard goods, poor services top complaints made to ministry using public hotline

Substandard goods, arbitrary price hikes, prices signed in foreign currencies, the cost of electricity, fuel quality, internet services, food quality, and the cost of various services were among the complaints lodged with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce through its 1510 hotline number.
Director General of the ministry’s Department of Inspection, Mr Phoutthavanh Nanthavong, passed this information onto the Government Hotline Committee recently.
Mr Phoutthavanh said 164 calls were made by the public to the ministry over the past 18 months, with people mostly recounting their concerns including cases of misconduct by officials.
These incidents largely concerned relations between consumers and entrepreneurs, business disputes, and between businesses and the public sector.
Some 58 of the 164 callers complained about substandard goods, random price hikes, and goods being priced in foreign currencies.
Other complaints concerned the price of electricity, poor quality fuel, unsatisfactory internet services, poor quality of food products, and dubious advertising.
Another 36 calls were related directly to the industry and commerce sector, while the ministry is also dealing with 10 other cases mainly related to substandard goods and unacceptably high prices.
The ministry has been unable to contact callers in relation to the other 22 messages. The ministry is dealing with 33 cases related to the responsibilities of other sectors. These cases mainly relate to unclean food, the price of electricity, high charges at restaurants, and the long time taken to deliver prizes and bonuses given by businesses to customers who have won quizzes or want to exchange products.
With support from CPL2-GIZ, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce launched the 1510 hotline number in June 2016, with a recording machine set up in the Customer Protection Division at the Department of Domestic Trade.
Members of the public can call the ministry to report their concerns during official working hours.
Mr Phoutthavanh said the ministry had also set up a hotline consumer protection webpage as an alternative channel for complaints and to enable the ministry to download information easily and quickly.
The ministry is preparing to create a consumer protection website for the exchange of information with other ministries and agencies when making hotline responses, and to share information on activities related to consumer protection.

By Somxay Sengdara
(Latest Update
March 6,

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