Editorial : Protect consumers with cooling-off period

【明報專訊】TO guarantee more protection of consumers' rights, the Consumer Council proposes to impose a system of mandatory cooling-off period targeting two modes of transaction and three industries. The government has said earlier that it would impose a cooling-off period by way of legislation. In other words, after over a decade of appeal from various sectors to introduce a cooling-off period as a means to tackle numerous types of undesirable sales practices, finally there is some progress. However, whether the implementation of a cooling-off period is able to protect consumers effectively depends on whether the government would concede too much to the concerned industries in the details of the legislation. In the meantime, the cyber world has given rise to new ways of doing business, the future development of which remains unknown. The recent proposal on legislation does not include online shopping. It merits concern whether it would become a loophole.