Consumer Council head says study will look at legislating sector-based time periods when buyers can cancel deals and obtain a refund
The Consumer Council is ­considering whether legislation is needed to govern how people can seek refunds for goods and ­services they are not satisfied with. The watchdog is preparing a research report for ­publication later this year. The council’s chief executive, Gilly Wong Fung-han, told the that the report would take into account cooling-off periods in other countries to determine what was suitable for the city and would propose exemptions for certain businesses. A cooling-off period was proposed as part of the enacted in 2013, but it was dropped amid strong opposition from business. “We need to learn from the experience the last time when the proposed cooling-off period was ‘broad-brush’ , ” Wong said. “But this time, we will consider ­whether to introduce different cooling-off period provisions to regulate different sectors.” “Though some businesses may have other views, I believe the general public thinks a cooling-off period is needed to strengthen consumer protection. That is why we are producing this research report for the reference of the government, ” Wong said. Last year, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung told the Legislative Council that certain issues concerning a mandatory cooling-off period were “controversial”, such as whether it should apply to all goods and services.

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