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EC Network provides a consultation service for both Japanese and Non-Japanese consumers who have complaints arising from Internet transactions.
Among 649 complaints received from April in 2007 to March in 2008, cross-border complaints accounted for 136 cases from Japanese and foreign consumers.
|Complaints received by EC Network@
||from Japanese consumers
|from non-Japanese consumers
Here is a graph of breakdown by trading partners (from Japanese consumers: 109 cases).
Breakdown by Trading Partners (FY2007)
E-commerce is a very convenient means of purchasing goods and services around the world. However, consumers often find difficulties when they are involved in trouble of cross-border transactions. This is because there are different business practices depending on countries and there is also the language barrier which sometimes causes misunderstanding. In reality, filing a lawsuit against the other party in overseas is unpractical and high in cost. Moreover, application of which countryfs laws will be another issue.
In order to assist in solving consumer complaints in an effective manner, we learned the importance of international cooperation with other ADR organizations from the results of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) pilot project at the Next Generation E-Commerce Promotion Council of Japan (ECOM). EC Network was handed over this activity from ECOM. To build up further international cooperation, we will continue to participate in international bodies including Asia-Pacific Trustmark Alliance (ATA) and Global Business Dialogue on Electric Commerce (GBDe) comprised of e-commerce businesses, ADR organizations and consumer groups.
EC Network has signed bilateral partnership agreement with BBB OnLine which covers North America and Secure Online Shopping Association (SOSA) of Taiwan in 2006. EC Network and each two organization have agreed to collaborate on consumer complaint handling.
Asia-Pacific Trustmark Alliance (ATA)
EC Network along with Japanfs private Trustmark provider, TradeSafe, signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) and officially joined Asia-Pacific Trustmark Alliance (ATA) on November 7, 2007. ATA was originally formed by online trustmark or ADR providers of Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan and was named as Asia Trustmark Alliance. As a result of accession of the United States and Mexico, it was renamed as Asia-Pacific Trustmark Alliance (ATA).
In 2008, Vietnamese Trustmark organization became a member of ATA which now has 7 member nations. Thai Trustmark organization also is aiming at becoming the member of ATA next year.
ATA has a collaborative system for assisting in solving cross-border complaints when consumers have trouble with Trustmark accredited businesses within member countries.
EC Network will further strengthen cooperation with other ADR providers in other countries.