New consumer complaints service launches
UK consumers that have complaints against a trader based in Japan can now make contact with a new cross border complaints service aimed at helping to resolve international issues.
The service gives advice and support to consumers that had bought goods or services from businesses in Japan and experienced a problem with the purchase.
Run by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and the National Consumer Affairs Centre of Japan (NCAC), the reciprocal agreement will also handle cases from consumers based in Japan that have complaints against UK traders.
Leon Livermore, CTSI chief executive, said: "Nowadays many businesses operate online and trade overseas but this makes it increasingly difficult for consumers when something goes wrong.
"Making sure businesses trade fairly and comply with the law is a key priority for our Institute.
"The new service demonstrates our commitment to delivering global consumer protection and ultimately strengthens ties with our counterparts in other countries."
This pilot scheme builds on CTSI's success as the host for the UK European Consumer Centre which dealt with 12,985 cases in 2015, 28 per cent more than the previous year.
Consumers in the UK that have an issue with a trader can contact the service and pass details of their complaint to a consumer advisor, who will look into the case and pass it onto the NCAC.
In addition, those based in Japan that have a complaint can contact the NCAC and the case will be referred to CTSI.
NCAC have been handling consumer complaints since 1970 and work closely with the national and local Governments of Japan.
Tsuneo Matsumoto, president of NCAC said: “It is with great pleasure that we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding of mutual cooperation on cross-border consumer complaints handling with the CTSI.
"As the globalization of the world economy and the spread of the internet results in rapid internationalization of consumer transactions, cooperation between consumer complaint resolution institutions in each country is becoming extremely important.
"I hope the alliance between the CTSI and the NCAC will be helpful for resolving cross-border consumer complaints between the United Kingdom and Japan and making further progress on consumer protection in both countries.”
The service was launched earlier this month and will run for a trial period of 12 months.
To issue a complaint against a trader in Japan, please contact: 01268 886694 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
Visit the CTSI website www.tradingstandards.uk
Visit the NCAC website www.kokusen.go.jp/ncac_index_e.html