Making an effective complaint can be tricky at the best of times but the process becomes even more problematic when the company is based in China. Here’s all you need to know in order to complain against a Chinese company – and get results!
Making an effective complaint can be tricky at the best of times but the process becomes even more problematic when the company is based in China.
Here’s all you need to know in order to complain against a Chinese company - and get results!
Table of Contents
Contact supplier regarding your complaint
Should an issue arise the best thing you could start with is simply contact the supplier. This might seem obvious but before you escalate any complaint, provide a clear report of the issue in writing.
Mistakes do happen so this possibility needs to be eliminated before taking any further action. You also need to show that you have given the company adequate opportunity to rectify issues before escalating them. If no reply is received after 7 working days then initiate issue a demand letter before action.
You could also file a claim to whoever facilitated your payment. If you paid with a service like Paypal it should be easy to get a refund.
Prepare a clear and concise complaint
State clearly when, where and how the issue occurred and what action has been taken to date to rectify it. Ensure all supporting evidence is included to support your allegation. Specify your expectations as to how the issue can be resolved and give clear time frames for responses.
Issue demand letters before action
Before taking any legal action, issue a demand letter in Chinese from a China based lawyer for the full amount of the claim (direct or indirect). The seller may be prompted to negotiate a settlement such as a refund, partial refund or replacement products. Pursuing a claim is only cost effective if the company is legit and has enough assets for any monies awarded to be recovered.
Contact the relevant authorities
There are several Chinese authorities you could contact depending on your situation.
Contact the China Consumers Association with details of your complaint and associated supporting documents. Any evidence should include name, ID number if applicable, address, postcode and contact number of the complainant. In addition you will need to provide the name of your contact, name of company, address, postal code and a contact number for the respondent.
Inform the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade about your allegation regarding a contravention to consumer rights.
Report any suspected scams to the trade division of the Chinese embassy in your country and request that they contact the appropriate Chinese officials with details of issue and any evidence to support your allegation.
If your case involves a lot of money it might be worthwile to contact The Chinese Ministry of Commerce. They have a complaint line in English for companies to complain about Chinese businesses. Through their service you can lodge complaints and request help.
In addition, you can register your complaint with the Chinese embassy in your own country and also the Chinese police.
If the company is still operating and has real assets then you may be able to work with the Chinese police and/or a local lawyer in order to action your complaint. However you would need to appoint power of attorney to a local representative to act on your behalf.
Engage the services of a private investigator
If the claim is above $30,000 (or equivalent) consider engaging the services of a private investigator or representative to manage police action. If the amount is under $30,000 then the complaint is not worth pursuing in this way.
How to prevent problems with a Chinese company?
As a consumer, in order to minimise issues, simply check reviews of the company where you want to buy something. You might also want to consider to buy the product at a local shop. Buy local and you simply ‘enjoy’ better consumer protection.
If you do business with a Chinese company it is advisable to ensure any agreements are in both languages before purchase and that the Chinese name is listed.
Any lawsuit would need to be made in a Chinese court. If all documents relating to the purchase are in English then this could complicate matters should the complaint go to court. For example, before the case can be heard, any supporting documentation would need to be translated by a court approved translator beforehand. This is time consuming and expensive.
An English only agreement signed by both parties is legally binding but in order to have any legal standing in China, the Chinese name of the company in question must be stated on the agreement. This is because the English equivalent is not the official name.
File your complaint on Complain.biz. We will give your complaint the attention it deserves.