II. Consumer Protection
As mentioned in the previous section, you have created a legal relationship with the seller or the service supplier after entering into a contract with them. This section will then give you a general idea of the kind of rights and protection you enjoy under a consumer contract.
The Sale of Goods Ordinance (Cap. 26 of the Laws of Hong Kong) protects those consumers who have paid money to the sellers in exchange for goods. Note that barter trade (i.e. goods are sold in exchange for other goods) is not covered under this Ordinance.
Even when consumers are buying services, rather than goods, they are also entitled to protection under the law. The Supply of Services (Implied Terms) Ordinance (Cap. 457 of the Laws of Hong Kong) protects those consumers who have paid money (or, in this case, provided other considerations/benefits) in exchange for services.
The aforesaid ordinances, together with several other pieces of legislation that are particularly important to consumers, will be elaborated through the following questions and answers. You should also note that even if the details of these ordinances have not been mentioned by the contracting parties, they would still be implied into the relevant sale of goods or supply of services contracts.
- What are the statutory requirements for the quality and condition of goods for sale? When am I considered to be a "consumer" under the Sale of Goods Ordinance?
- What statutory requirements exist regarding the quality of supply of services? When am I considered to be a "consumer" under the Supply of Services (Implied Terms) Ordinance?
- Some tricky sellers may provide wrong information to mislead their customers. How am I protected against false descriptions made by sellers?
- Goods for sale are not always safe for consumption. How am I protected against faulty or dangerous goods?
- In order to avoid certain liabilities, or to exploit customers, some sellers or service suppliers may insert exemption clauses into their contracts or impose unfair terms. Are these terms valid under the law?
- The goods that I have ordered are delivered to me in poor condition. Can I reject the goods and ask for a refund?
- If I have to provide my personal data (e.g. my address and ID card number) to a seller or service provider, what should I be aware of?