April 19, 2018 — Over the years, the DAB has persistently advocated for the government to enforce a mandatory cooling-off period for purchases involving membership, ticket packages or other prepaid services contracts. In response “A Report to Advocate Mandatory Cooling-Off Period in Hong Kong” put out by the Consumer Council today, DAB Legislative Councilor Holden Chow expresses his approval in general. Details of the DAB’s position are as follows:
1) The DAB welcomes the comprehensive and in-depth study conducted by the Consumer Council that led to the report’s conclusion to the proposed introduction of a mandatory cooling-off period for prepaid services in the HKSAR;
2) On the Council’s recommendation that the duration of a cooling-off period should not be less than seven days, we are of the view that 7 days is a reasonable starting point for discussion;
3) In principle, we support setting a minimum transaction amount for the application of the cooling-off period, given that the amount set must result from the government having listened extensively to views of stakeholders and opinions of the public;
4) We welcome the provision that a civil enforcement mechanism be adopted with the establishment or appointment of a designated public body which should be empowered to seek undertakings from traders; at this stage, designating mandatory cooling-off period as a matter of civil law makes it easier for all stakeholders to accept, noting similar overseas experiences with civil sanctions;
5) With regard to consumer transactions mentioned by the Consumer Council report — including the five types of: beauty, fitness, time-share packages, unsolicited contracts and distance contracts (other than online shopping) — recommended for mandatory cooling-off periods, we hope that the government will consider fully adopting the recommendations and announce comprehensive plans as soon as possible in order to facilitate public discourse and provide details for Legco debate.
Media Inquiries: Legislative Councilor and DAB Spokesperson on Economic Development Holden Chow (3703 9870)