Answer: The Hong Kong Jewellers’ & Goldsmiths’ Association and the Kowloon Pearls, Precious Stones, Jade, Gold and Silver Ornament Merchants Association (the Jewellers’ Associations) have already uploaded the list of members on their websites for the public’s reference.
The websites of the Jewellers’ Associations are:
Hong Kong Jewellers’& Goldsmiths’ Association – http://www.hkjga.hk/
Kowloon Pearls, Precious Stones, Jade, Gold and Silver Ornament Merchants Association – http://www.klnjga.hk/
Besides, the Jewellers’ Associations are now preparing to launch a certification mark scheme under the Code, with which consumers can conveniently identify which companies are Association Members agreeing to adopt the Code. By then, consumers can check through the websites of the Associations on the list of companies which are willing to adopt the Code.
When a consumer encounters a problem, s/he can try to resolve the matter by negotiating with the company. Generally speaking, a company would be willing to discuss with its consumers on how to resolve a dispute, which would be much more effective than other complaint channels. Consumers shall objectively consider the solution proposed by the company so that the matter can be harmoniously concluded.
If the dispute remains unresolved, the consumer can file the complaint with the Jewellers’ Associations or the Consumer Council or directly contact the Complaints Review Committee set up under the Code to file the complaint.
Filing the complaint with the Hong Kong Jewellers’& Goldsmiths’ Association: http://www.hkjga.hk/contact-hk/
Filing the complaint with the Kowloon Pearls, Precious Stones, Jade, Gold and Silver Ornament Merchants Association: http://www.klnjga.hk/Contact.aspx
Filing the complaint with the Consumer Council: https://www.consumer.org.hk/ws_chi/complaints_and_advices/how_to_complain/howtocomplain.html
Filing the complaint with the Complaints Review Committee: the committee can be contacted separately by e-mailing to email@example.com or calling the hotline 2877-1022.
Established in accordance with the Code, the Complaints Review Committee handles consumers’ complaints about members of the Jewellers’ Associations who voluntarily adopt the Code or other jewellers involved in the violation of the Code. The Complaints Review Committee does not have the right to ask companies who have not voluntarily adopted the Code to forward the complaint case to the Complaints Review Committee for handling and then comply with any decision or judgement concluded by the Complaints Review Committee.
The primary principle of the complaint handling mechanism under the Code is fairness. The review is based on the information provided by both parties, which are both given a reasonable opportunity to present the case, to listen to and to respond to the points raised by the opposite party. Therefore, the complaint handling mechanism relies on the participation of both parties. The Jewellers’ Associations would actively encourage all their members to adopt the Code and take part in this complaint handling mechanism.
Depending on the completeness of information provided by both parties of the complaint, the contents of the case and other factors, a complaint is generally expected to take two weeks to decide whether it is substantiated, and the outcome would be announced in eight weeks’ time.
The time required to handle a review would also be affected by the meeting arrangements of the Complaints Review Committee.
If the complaint handling involves third-party fees that are unavoidable or require payment by the complainant, such as testing or authentication service fees, the Complaints Review Committee should first inform and obtain approval from the complainant before proceeding.
Upon review completion, the Complaints Review Committee would directly deliver the review report to the consumer and the company involved. The Complaints Review Committee would also appropriately report the outcome of the review in publications of members’ communications of the Jewellers’ Associations, as well as publicised through the websites of the Jewellers’ Associations, through which would enhance the transparency of the complaint mechanism, as well as educate the public using the case as an example.
To ensure the credibility and independence of the complaint mechanism, more than half of the members of the Complaints Review Committee are non-trade members to ensure it stays impartial, and complaints are handled under the principle that there is no existing or upcoming commercial interests on the matters under review. If a consumer is dissatisfied with the review outcome, the Jewellers’ Associations or the Complaints Review Committee would not stop them from taking further actions through other complaint channels (e.g. government departments), or to seek compensation through legal proceedings.
There is no appeal mechanism as there are other complaint channels available.
Consumers can voluntarily choose to use the complaint handling mechanism of the Complaints Review Committee, and at any time file the complaint further with other organisations or groups.
If the company under complaint does not comply with the orders of the Complaints Review Committee, the level of the penalty would be considered and the necessary actions would be taken by the Complaints Review Committee based on the severity of the violation behaviour, as well as the past records of the company; the actions could include disqualifying the company as a member of the certification mark of the Code (if any).
Based on the actual circumstances of the case, the Complaints Review Committee would consider referring the case to relevant law enforcement agencies for follow up.
The Code stipulates that the Complaints Review Committee shall not restrict consumers from filing the complaint or providing information to government departments, nor shall it try to prevent law enforcement agencies from taking actions to ban business behaviours that are unreasonable, deceptive or anti-competitive.
The Complaints Review Committee would handle the complaint based on the Code, which includes contents on: quality assurance, promotion and marketing, customer service, intellectual property rights, market competition and online sales. Consumers can take reference from the full text of the Code to learn more about the details. If a consumer wishes to reflect their dissatisfaction about a company and hopes to see improvements in the company, s/he could communicate with the company, as well as reflect so to the Complaints Review Committee through the Jewellers’ Associations or the Consumer Council. The Complaints Review Committee will take the necessary actions based on the nature of the complaint and the outcome of the review.
The Complaints Review Committee is responsible for enforcing the Code and for monitoring the compliance of companies adopting the Code. Consumers may file their complaints with the Complaints Review Committee, or they could also reflect the issues to the Jewellers’ Associations or the Consumer Council. Regarding a complaint made by a consumer to the Complaints Review Committee, the Complaints Review Committee would conduct an initial assessment on the case based on the information provided by the consumer and decide whether it falls within its scope of responsibilities, followed by reviewing any possible violation of the Code in the case.