Consumer Council surveyed prices and services of bottled water suppliers

No. 283 Consumer Report

Consumers usually purchase water vouchers in advance for ordering bottled water at different times. In a recent survey conducted by the Consumer Council, it is found that no expiry dates are printed on these vouchers by the water suppliers, the Council indicates that expiry dates are important information to consumers exercising their rights, water suppliers are reminded to state clearly the relevant information on their vouchers to safeguard consumer rights.

According to the survey, the four water suppliers generally require consumers to purchase at least ten water vouchers to enjoy more discount, but one of them allows consumers to purchase only one voucher.

Don’t buy vouchers with no expiry dates

The length of validity period of a water voucher is crucial to consumers in choosing which supplier to buy vouchers from. The survey result shows that suppliers offer two types of validity period: no expiry date and those that need to be used by a certain period. However, though two suppliers allow consumers to use vouchers with no expiry dates, the relevant promise and consumption conditions are not listed on their vouchers. The Council indicates that consumers may not be able to use this kind of vouchers to exercise their rights, and suggests consumers to request the suppliers to state clearly the valid time period, as well as the information of the bottled water, such as its specifications. Otherwise, consumers should consider carefully whether to purchase the vouchers or not; suppliers also have the responsibility to state the conditions and limits of the transaction to avoid affecting the rights of consumers.

Extra fees may be charged for delivery

The survey result also reviews that a deposit is required for first-time order of bottled water by consumers, suppliers charge an amount of MOP50 and MOP60 for the deposit respectively, and consumers must present the receipt for getting back the deposit. Consumers are reminded to keep the receipt, and suppliers are suggested to keep a soft copy record as well. In case of a dispute, suppliers should consider paying part of the deposit back to consumers.

Consumers are reminded to take note that different suppliers will charge extra amount according to the address of consumers, lift facilities and number of floors of the building, etc., there are also minimum ordering amount and restricted delivering time. Consumers should ask for more information from the suppliers before choosing a supplier.

The mentioned survey is now available in the latest issue no. 283 Consumer Report.

Testing beverages for contents of plasticizer

The Council worked together with IACM to check thirty samples of beverages, including tea, juice, and sports beverage, etc. No plasticizer is found in the tested samples.

“Consumer Alert” explains different definitions of deposits

The latest Consumer Report includes a “Consumer Alert” explaining the legal definitions of deposits, and provides reminders to consumers about paying for pre-payment products or services.

Consumer Report is now available free of charge at the Council (Av. Horta e Costa, N.º 26, Edf. Clementina Ho), and the service counter of the Council at Macao SAR Government Service Centre (Rua Nova da Areia Preta, Nº52), Public Information Centre at Vicky Plaza, libraries, and bookstores. Consumers may also access the magazine online on the Council’s official website (http://www.consumer.gov.mo) and WeChat official account.

For enquiry, please call 8988-9315.

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