New council to enhance Prachuap consumer rights protection

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN: With an aim of promoting consumer rights protection across the province, a council comprising representatives from the public and private sectors was established at a 29 December meeting.

At the meeting as reported by Daily News, government officials, politicians, police officers and representatives from the private sector identified eight priority consumer protection areas as follows:

1) finance and banking
2) health products
3) products and services
4) health services
5) telecommunications
6) accommodations
7) food and medicinal products
8) public services

Held at the Resort Koh Lak Hotel on Suan Son – Tab Kratai road in Muang district, the meeting was organized with an aim of establishing guidelines to clarify and facilitate consumer protection channels and proceedings from district to provincial levels, covering everything from consumer knowledge, awareness and consultation to support, negotiation and compensation procedures.

At time of press, Tri Cove City Dot Com was unable to confirm an active, online or local channel for making consumer protection claims or inquiries in Prachuap Khiri Khan. The exception is for consumer protection issues related to public health (Thai language: กลุ่มงานคุ้มครองผู้บริโภค สำนักงานสาธารณสุขจังหวัดประจวบคีรีขันธ์) which can be made through the Ministry of Public Health’s consumer protection department office in Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Aside from some inactive Facebook pages about Prachuap Consumer Protection groups, and a Prachuap Khiri Khan provincial government forum for consumer protection (established in 2017 but never used), the primary channel for making Consumer Protection inquiries or claims in Prachuap Khiri Khan is through the Provincial Police.

Furthermore, the Office of Consumer Protection Board advertises online claim and consulting services, which can be pursued online or through OCPB’s national hotline number: 1166.

Moreover, consumers may report suspected price gouging or other unethical domestic trade practices through the Department of Internal Trade’s hotline: 1569.

In related news, Ban Muang on December 21 reported that Prachuap officials were inspecting local seafood vendors looking out for price gouging ahead of the New Year period. According to the report, gouging is a legal infraction that could incur up to a THB 10,000 fine.

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