Thailand is home to great business and investment opportunities that attract businessmen and investors all around the globe. Like any other transaction, there is no guarantee that it will always be successful, transactions do not always go as smooth as silk and there are always implications. On this topic, we will be discussing the importance of the Consumer Protection Act of Thailand and its benefits to the consumers in Thailand and answer the following:
A. What is the Consumer Protection Act of Thailand?
B. What are the Consumer rights of protection in Thailand?
The Consumer Protection Act of Thailand is as it is called, protection for the consumer in Thailand. Simply put, when we enter into an agreement with another party who is an entrepreneur selling goods, importing products for sale, or the most relatable - providing services in Thailand. As mentioned there may be some implications and in case of any disputes arising from such an agreement in Thailand, the role of a consumer purchasing such goods, products, or obtaining services will be protected by the Thai Consumer Protection Law.
The Thai Consumer Protection Act. B.E. 2522 (1979) gives the following protection to the consumer in Thailand;
1.) the right to receive information as well as a correct and adequate description of quality as to the goods or services,
2.) the right to enjoy freedom in the selection of goods or services,
3.) the right to be afforded safety in the use of goods or services,
4.) the right to fairness in concluding contracts and
5.) the right to have consideration for remedy the damage.
Apparently, no cases incurred between consumers and entrepreneurs will be amicably settled which it attributes to the bargaining powers or the knowledge access. In addition to such matters, a consumer is unwilling to take into a long period of the court procedure and bear any relevant expenses e.g. the court and attorney fees.
To prevent aforesaid problems, the Consumer Case Procedure Act B.E. 2551 (2008) has been enacted to decrease consumer concerns. For clarification, a consumer pressing a consumer charge is exempted to disburse the court fees, granting the prompt court procedure such as no date of settlement of the issues. Furthermore, mediation, testimony, and investigation processes shall be completed in a day. On the other hand, if a party delays in submitting or representing itself to the court in a hearing, the court shall deem that a party is in default of providing the answers against the plaintiff (if being the defendant) or shall strike the case out of the case list (If being the plaintiff).
In addition to the abovementioned principles, the Consumer Case Procedure Act also determines the period of filing a consumer case;
1.) in the case of damage to life, body, health, sanitary as a result of culminating in the body of a consumer, or where it takes time for the symptom to appear, must exercise the right to claim within 3 years as from the date of knowledge of such damage and the liable entrepreneur, but not exceeding 10 years as from the date of knowledge of the damage.
2.) a consumer case arising from the wrongful act, shall file the case within 1 year as from the date of knowledge of such damage and the liable entrepreneur, but not exceeding 10 years as from the date of having such act.
Over the past 20 years, one of the major cases handled by us is the consumer case, particularly in the matter of the condominium dispute; a foreign consumer purchases a condominium unit in Thailand, but the project entrepreneur does not deliver and/or register such transfer to the consumer.
In case a consumer could obtain our legal opinion and consultation from us prior to purchasing a condominium unit, we normally conduct due diligence to verify any risks from the entrepreneur and their project. Even though it reaches the litigation process, we are pleased to provide our legal expertise with the precise strategies in representing the consumer in court.