The report is mainly based on study of the output of research on E-commerce survey conducted by Myanmar Consumers Union (MCU) through Empower Consultancy Limited in Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw, and Mawlamyaing, and consumer issues mostly from MCU online complaint. The survey has been conducted during one year of implementation of the grant funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Private Sector Development Activity.
The study also reported that AKAP (Awareness/Knowledge/Attitude/Practice) of E-Commerce; problems/difficulties/barriers in using E-Commerce; types of services available that consumer take for solving problems; how consumers want to solve problems and gaps in solving the problems; and recommendations for better protection of consumers and E-Commerce legislation in harmony with ASEAN’s standards.
Survey findings discovered that only two out of ten respondents received information on consumer protection and rights and responsibilities during the previous three years. The commonest channels from which respondents received information was small media consisting of Facebook, telephone, website, brochures, posters, etc. Qualitative findings corroborated with quantitative findings. Both consumers and service providers did not have proper knowledge on rights and responsibilities of consumers and service providers and the Consumer Protection Law (CPL). Disaggregate analysis highlighted that respondents had more knowledge on rights and responsibilities of consumers and service providers than knowledge on roles and responsibilities of regulatory bodies and some consumers even did not know existence of Department of Consumer Affairs and the CPL. Low knowledge of both consumers and service providers would have contributed many problems and low level of informing problems to regulators of consumer affairs.
A majority of respondents agreed with both advantages and disadvantages of E-Commerce. Facebook was the major media for advertising and ordering method for online shopping and almost all respondents use cash for payment of online shopping. The proportion of consumers who informed their problems to service providers or law enforcement bodies was low across all types of E-Commerce and was less than 20% of them making complaints. Majority of them informed their problems to service providers other than regulatory bodies and received most of responses from their respective service providers. It also reported that barriers for solving complaints and ways forward. It was found that there is no e-commerce law and existing laws in Myanmar cannot effectively protect consumers and law enforcement was weak.