UPDATE : 2018.11.13 TUE 10:48
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S. Korea to sign MOU with Macao, Mongolia on protecting consumers

South Korea's consumer protection agency will sign a memorandum of understanding with its counterparts in the Chinese territory of Macao and Mongolia soon, its head said Friday, in the latest move to better protect locals who use overseas online shopping malls.

Lee Hee-sook, president of the Korea Consumer Agency, said the agency is pursuing similar MOUs with European countries, without elaborating.

Lee Hee-sook, president of the Korea Consumer Agency, speaks in a meeting with reporters at the Korea Press Center in central Seoul on Sept. 7, 2018. (Yonhap)

Currently, the consumer protection agency has MOUs with its counterparts in the United States, Great Britain, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan.

The latest move is meant to help address complaints that local consumers often face when they purchase goods directly from online shopping malls abroad.

Complaints related to foreign goods bought directly from online shopping malls abroad totaled 3,981 cases in the first six months of the year, up 186 percent from a year earlier, according to the Korea Consumer Agency.

Clothing and shoes accounted for 26.5 percent of total complaints, followed by accommodation reservations with 20.7 percent and airfare with 18 percent.

The agency said 37.8 percent complained about either delays or refusals to cancel purchases. Others claimed there were problems with refunds and exchange of goods.

The Korea Consumer Agency plans to make public a list of online shopping malls, freight forwarders and purchasing agent service firms that have been cited by South Korean consumers as being the most problematic companies. (Yonhap)

Cho Kyung-hee  edt@koreapost.com

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