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Scammers are getting smarter, and we should too PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 February 2018 15:10

 

Scammers are getting smarter, and we should too

Published: 7 Feb 2018, 11:12 am Modified: 7 Feb 2018, 11:16 am

LETTER | Scammers are getting smarter these days. They are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Typically reported scams in Malaysia include online scams, lottery scams, African scams, bank impersonator scams and investment scams.

Recently NCCC received a call from a victim, Chong (not her real name), who said that she had received a call from an unknown number.

The caller claimed to be from the police. The scammer correctly stated the victim’s name and her identification card number, and told the victim that she was being investigated for several offences, which include drugs and money laundering.

Surprised with what she heard, she denied the allegations. However, this did not stop the “officer” from threatening her further by saying the punishment for those offences are severe, and that she could “hang” for the crimes that she had committed.

He further added that the victim’s picture will be published in the newspapers and the local news.

The scammer went on to say that this information should not be shared with a third party, or else their life will be in danger too. In order to settle this issue, Chong was urged to bank in RM 30,000 to a new account, and do so before her account was frozen by the “authorities.”

Apparently, a “sergeant” would then call her to advise on next course of action after the payment is made. If the victim fails to pay, she will be remanded for 45 days, and the cost to bail her would rise to RM700,000.

At this point, Chong realised that something was amiss and thus called for help. Her quick thinking at this point had saved her from transferring her hard earned money to a complete stranger.

She then proceeded to get a second opinion and her family and friends urged her to make a police report. The police confirmed that such a scam has been reported by many consumers and urged the victim to be vigilant.

Here is what you should do when such situation arises.

If the caller pressures you about giving up personal information – like your credit card or any sensitive information – it’s likely a scam. Hang up and report it.

Do not follow instructions given by the caller without first consulting someone. Call the police or financial institutions for further verification.

If the caller claims to be from a financial institution, do not reveal account numbers or credit card details unless you initiated the call, and can verify the purpose for which you are providing the information. If you are not sure, call Bank Negara for verification.

Do not panic and stay calm; think clearly and handle the problem effectively.

Despite the laws and regulations currently in place to stop scamming practices, we as consumers still have to be vigilant.

Beware of your surroundings and most importantly note down the particulars of the caller, and lodge a police report at the nearest police station. If the scammers are getting smarter, then we should too.

 
International UM students claim cost was raised by up to RM36,000 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 10:00

 

International UM students claim cost was raised by up to RM36,000


 

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of international students at Universiti Malaya (UM) has raised an outcry over an increase in tuition fees of up to RM36,000.

The Star’s R.AGE team spoke to 15 students, all undergraduates in their first year, who claimed to have had their tuition fees increased after they arrived in Malaysia.

“When I applied for the course in March 2017, it was only about RM5,000 a semester.

“But when I arrived in August, I found that they had increased the fee to RM9,500,” said an accounting student from Indonesia, who requested anonymity.

“I have not paid as I am still waiting for them to quote the final fee,” he added.

Another student from Nigeria said her course fee was RM4,440 per semester when she checked in July. When she arrived in September, however, it was revised to RM6,720 and then RM7,020 in December.

“I hope UM will charge us the original fees and that this scenario will not repeat itself in subsequent semesters,” said the student.

The addition in fees differs from course to course, but ranges between a few hundred ringgit and RM9,000 a year.

R.AGE sighted the offer letters of some of the students and found that they did not contain the exact fee, but pointed to a fee structure on the online student portal.

According to the students, the fees were revised in the months after they accepted the offer, but they were not informed of the changes.

The students claimed that no explanation was given for the fee hike except that the university reserved the right to change the fees at its discretion.

The students also claimed that they knew of over 40 other students who had been affected by this fee increase.

Further investigations revealed that a fee structure published on UM’s official Facebook page on Feb 2, 2017, was significantly lower than the current fee structure displayed on its online student portal.

R.AGE also looked through archived versions of the online student portal, finding that prices for one of the courses was changed as recently as July 28, 2017.

R.AGE has been contacting various departments within UM since Thursday for a response to the claims and to explain the increase in fees, but has yet to receive any.

National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCCC) senior legal and policy manager Shabana Naseer Ahmad said students should be advised upfront on how much and what they would be paying for.

“It’s unfair for universities to claim that they can change the fees as they wish. They should have a rough figure of the estimated cost and not implement a drastic change in fees, which is misleading,” she said.

“Fee changes should be made in advance with valid reasons, such as new regulations or requirements imposed by the Government.”

She said students who feel that they have been misled can reach out to NCCC at www.nccc.org.my.

 

 
Hair-raising tales of treatment centres PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 09:55

Hair-raising tales of treatment centres


PETALING JAYA: When Rani (not her real name) saw that her hair was thinning out because of a medical condition, she turned to a hair loss treatment centre for help.

Little did she know that after a year of treatment, she would end up with a RM36,000 bill.

“The consultants tried aggressively to convince me to commit to their package and charged me RM12,000 when I first signed up,” said the health practitioner, who is in her 40s.

However, she had to fork out more money than expected when the consultants scared her into buying additional packages.

“During my weekly appointments, they would use a scanner to take a picture of my scalp and point out patches supposedly caused by fungal infection,” she said.

“They said it would worsen if I did not take a certain product.”

She added that they had no fixed price listing for the product, as it was sold to her for RM10,000 once and at RM3,000 another time.

Rani said the treatment on her daughter also turned awry, worsening her hair loss.

“We visited a skin specialist, who told us that our scalps had no fungal infections,” she said.

Another customer, who did not wish to be named, said she faced a similar problem when the centre’s consultants brought out the scanner to coax her into signing up for other packages.

“They used the scanned pictures to show me that I had a lot of dandruff and needed other treatments to fix my problem,” she said, adding that she then signed up for another 15 sessions.

The 52-year-old retiree said she had a few sessions left in her package, but her hair loss had not improved.

The National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCCC), when contacted, said it received 1,656 complaints regarding haircare treatments in 2015 when such complaints were specially categorised.

Its legal and policy senior manager Shabana Naseer said they made up 89.6% of 1,848 complaints recorded by NCCC that year.

She advised consumers to think carefully before signing up for any haircare package.

“NCCC received many complaints about sales tactics by beauticians, some of whom criticised the customer’s appearance to make them feel insecure so that they would sign up for the package,” she said, adding that customers should not buy products out of fear of offending the salesperson.

“One should not be bought in by methods used by sales personnel, and customers must lodge a report immediately upon any misconduct done by the centre,” she said.

She also called upon the relevant government authorities and regulators such as the Health Ministry, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry and the Companies Com­mission of Malaysia to monitor and ensure that hair treatment centres were run only by qualified professionals.

 

 

 
Warranty / Jaminan PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 07 November 2017 09:53

Bolehkah tuntutan ganti rugi dibuat sekiranya tiada kad waranty

  • Di Malaysia, remedi bagi barangan yang rosak didapati dalam Akta Jualan Barangan 1957 ("SOGA") dan Akta Perlindungan Pengguna 1999 ("CPA").

  • Bahagian V dan VI (Seksyen 30 hingga 49) CPA mengandungi peruntukan yang memberikan jaminan tersirat berkenaan dengan barang pengguna dan menetapkan remedi yang tersedia kepada pengguna jika barangan tersebut tidak mematuhi mana-mana jaminan yang tersirat.

  • Dalam undang-undang Malaysia, semua produk pengguna mempunyai jaminan secara automatik tanpa ditulis secara lisan. Jaminan ini disebut sebagai implied warranty. Maksudnya semua produk pengguna yang dijual di negara ini perlu mempunyai kualiti yang berpatutan. Pengeluar, Pembuat dan Pengedar perlu memastikan produk yang dijual berkualiti dan boleh digunakan pada jangka masa yang munasabah.

  • Sekiranya pengedar dan pengeluar menafikan hak pengguna untuk menuntut pembaikan atau penggantian, tuan/puan boleh membuat aduan kepada NCCC atau boleh membawa kes ini ke Tribunal Tuntutan Pengguna Malaysia.

 

SHABANA NASEER

 
Championing the rights of air travellers PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 October 2017 10:22

 

Championing the rights of air travellers


  • Letters
  • Wednesday, 11 Oct 2017- THE STAR

IMAGINE you are at the airport to catch a flight. You arrive early for check in and to clear security. To your dismay, you find that the flight has been delayed. You did not receive any notification of the delay and the rest of your journey is going to be disrupted since you couldn’t make alternative arrangements. Furthermore, the airline you are travelling with cannot provide any satisfactory reason for the delay.

This may well have happened to you as this is among the numerous complaints received by the National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCCC) on airline services. Other complaints are lost baggage, hidden charges, poor customer service and difficulty claiming refunds. In 2015 alone, NCCC received 2,113 complaints on airline services.

One of the most upsetting complaints raised by many is lost baggage, which they describe as a violation to their personal property. Customers whose checked-in luggage is lost or damaged have the legal right to claim compensation from the airline. However, most of those who have been through the experience feel the compensation awarded is not sufficient compared to the loss they suffered.

Many customers are also not happy with the additional charges imposed by some airlines that are not made clear during the booking process. How clearly this information is presented/ made available varies between airlines, and there is a growing number of customers who had to pay more than what was initially advertised/ offered by the airline concerned.

NCCC would like to advise consumers to lodge complaints with the airline concerned first. If the airline or aviation service provider does not resolve your complaint within 30 days after you sent it, you may submit a complaint to the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) or the NCCC. The Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 through Mavcom protects air travellers and defends the rights of consumers who have problems with their flight.

For example, if the flight is delayed by more than two hours, consumers are entitled to meals, telephone and Internet access (where applicable). If the flight is delayed by five hours or more, consumers are entitled to claim the same benefits as in the two-hour delay period plus hotel accommodation (including transport to and from the hotel). Consumers can find more information at www.mavcom.my.

SHABANA NASEER

Senior manager, Legal and Policy

National Consumer Complaints Centre/FOMCA

 

 
Video Competition "My Food Label" PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 September 2017 14:38

 

Theme :

  • My Food Label

How to enter :

  • Create a 30-seconds Instagram video with the theme "My Food Label".
  • Use hashtag #myfoodlabel2017 and tag @mypengguna. (Make sure that your account/post is not private)
  • DM us your posted video & details (Name, School Name, Email Address & Contact Number).
  • The winning video will receive cash prize of RM700, RM500 & RM300.

 

Read more...
 
PRESS RELEASE-2016 NCCC ANNUAL REPORT PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 16:05


PRESS RELEASE

2016 NCCC ANNUAL REPORT

ONLINE SHOPPING SCAMS & AUTOMOBILE RELATED COMPLAINTS AGAINST BOTH LOCAL & INTERNATIONAL CAR MAKERS

In the year 2016, National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCCC) received complaints from 48,563 consumers that suffered losses of RM 255,623,706.00. The total complaints have increased by 8.6% compared to the previous year.

This report extensively covers all types of complaints received across 22 different sectors resulting from consumer’s purchase of goods and/or services.

NCCC's Annual Report states that e-commerce sector received the highest number of complaints for 2016, followed closely by General Consumer Products and Telecommunication Sector. In terms of monetary value, complaints related to the Automobile and Auto-workshops sector topped the charts, with losses at staggering RM 79,181,869.

MANY SHOPPERS FALL PREY TO BOGUS MERCHANTS – you need to watch out!

Many Malaysians shop online to purchase range of products around the globe such as fashion items, entertainment services, electronic products, skincare and personal product, and many more especially with the introduction of high speed internet for everyone.

It is currently one of the most important aspects of the internet to emerge. E-commerce allows consumers to electronically exchange goods and services with no barriers of time or distance.

Unfortunately e-commerce tops the sector with the most complaints received by the National Consumer Complaints Centre for 2016 as well as for the three previous consecutive years. The problems that are faced by e-consumers are not getting the products ordered. Goods that have been ordered and paid for often fail to reach the consumer.

The biggest problem while buying things online is that you have no guarantee of a product’s quality. Reviews are not always reliable and all the research can’t assure you of a product’s quality; fraudulent sellers who intentionally mislead customers to increase sales are the prime reason for faulty/sub-par products being sold online. There are more issues faced by e-consumers are highlighted in this report. This report will also focuses on the laws that are available, recommendation for improvement as well as guide for consumers on shopping online.

CAR INDUSTRIES COMPLAINTS

The automobile Industry maintains as the highest monetary value in dispute recorded by NCCC since 2011,; In 2016 the value was RM79,181,869.00. Due to many affordable cars offered by the automobile industries, this had led to more Malaysians owning cars on the road. To reduce costs to ensure affordability, the quality of cars might have been compromised which has led to the rise in the monetary value of complaints.

It is rather disappointing that most complaints received by the NCCC were made in relation to local car manufacturers. However, imported model are not far back. The complaint pattern indicates that service centres in Malaysia are not sensitive towards consumer satisfaction as complaints were most of the time ignored or left unsettled in a way judicious to the consumers.

This is upsetting to learn that with the current existing laws that are available, problems are still occurring with almost no solution and most complainants still come back with the same problem. This will cause one to lose faith and trust with authorities and with the manufacturers for not being able to rectify the mistake or remedy the situation.

With no specific regulating body to observe and take action on the automobile industry, we urge carmakers to conduct a more in-depth study on the usability and sustainability of car accessories, spare parts, be it for new or second hand cars. Additionally, the NCCC opines that merely setting a customer service unit for after sales care is an effort futile should no redress be provided amid a dispute. Profiting with no adequate after-market service and safety standards for locally made car should end immediately

With the release of the NCCC 2016 Annual Report, it is the NCCC’s hope that all manufacturers and the regulators take note of the recommendations and suggestions in order to improve their services and customer relation skills to gain trust and confidence from consumers.

The NCCC Annual Report 2016

The 2016 NCCC Annual Report represents the eleventh year of analysis and review of all consumer complaints received by NCCC classified under 22 separate categories.

A total of 48,563 COMPLAINTS were received in 2016 whereby the NCCC witnessed an increase in the number of complaints when compared to last year’s total. This increase could be due to complaints lodged not being resolved to their satisfactory level before addressing their issue with the NCCC.

The highest complaints focused on the E-commerce (Online Shopping) sector with the NCCC recording a total of 7,371 complaints.

The second highest complaint for 2014 is the General Consumer Products with the NCCC recording a total of 6,578 complaints which has slightly increased compared to last year.

Coming in at third with 5,681 complaints, consumers are dissatisfied with the Telecommunication and broadband services.

The NCCC received a total of 3,874 complaints against the Automobile and Auto-Workshops industry. Although coming in at fourth place in the number of complaints received, with monetary value of staggering RM79,181,869.00, the automobile industry topped the total of value attached to complaints received under a specific sector. Complainants lamented that the industry were merely interested in profiteering and made empty promises until the point of sale.

The Travel and Leisure industry remains at fifth place as 2016, recording 3,458 of complaints in 2016 with the NCCC. Most of the complaints indicate that service rendered to them at the point of travel or stays were unusually different with what was initially agreed upon. Criminals create fake travel agencies, get people to sign up and the close down the business.




 
NCCC OFFICE RELOCATION PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 31 July 2017 12:26
We are pleased to inform you that our office will be moving to the following new location:-
Address  : 04 - 15, 4th Floor, Wisma PJ 5 SOHO, No. 4B Jalan SS5D/6, 47301 Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

We apologies for any inconveniences caused and looking forward to be of service to you.
For further information, you may contact us at 03- 7803 6000 / 03 - 7805 0009.

Thank you.
 
Consumers advised not to pay for unsolicited items PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 02 June 2017 16:05

PETALING JAYA: Consumers who have received unsolicited products from online retailer LuxStyle should neither pay for the items nor send them back, the National Consumer Complaints Centre advised.

Its legal and policy senior manager Shabana Naseer Ahmad said the company’s modus operandi was to link its online advertisements to product listings without prices. Customers were required to register with their home and e-mail addresses to find out the prices.

Even if the customers did not make any purchase, she said, the company would still send products to their homes and demand payment via credit card or PayPal, or for the items to be returned to its headquarters in Denmark.

“My advice is to not send the item back. If you didn’t order it, why should you pay to return it? Don’t make any payment either or they may target you again,” Shabana told a press conference here yesterday.

Read more...
 
Denmark-based firm sends products to ‘window shoppers’ and bills them PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 02 June 2017 16:00

Friday, 2 June 2017
PETALING JAYA: Internet shopping is usually a harmless pastime – but for these victims, browsing on an online retailer’s site only brought them headache and worry after they were sent, and billed for, items they did not even order.

National Consumer Complaints Centre legal and policy senior manager Shabana Naseer Ahmad shared experiences suffered by complainants who were sent unsolicited beauty products by LuxStyle International Sales ApS, which trades under the name LuxStyle.

A 59-year-old woman said she visited LuxStyle’s website because she wanted mascara for her daughter. (Some names have been excluded for the victims’ privacy.)

After registering with her personal information to see the prices, she was shocked at how expensive the products were and decided not to buy.

She was even more shocked when a package was delivered to her and is now unsure what to do with it.

The youngest complainant was a 14-year-old girl, who saw the company’s blackhead removal mask promoted on Instagram.

Read more...
 
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