Recently, MUJI was publicly meted administrative punishment for infringment of consumer rights, causing heated debate among Chinese netizens. According to CHAILEEDO, the reason is that “MUJI labels its cosmetics non-refundable”.
Recently, Minhong Road branch of MUJI (Shanghai) commercial limited company (hereinafter referred to as “MUJI “) faces charges of infringing on consumer rights, and was fined 447.3 USD by Minhang Administrationfor Market Regulation.
Since October 2018, MUJI has been stamping “Purchases of this product cannot be returned or exchanged for any reasons” in red on shopping tickets for in-bag underwear, cosmetics and pre-packaged food, according to the decision of administrative punishment. As the case is filed, the illegal income of MUJI is beyond calculation and no circumstances are given in which the parties actually refuse to perform the obligation of returning and exchanging goods via the above-mentioned declaration.
MUJI first began in Japan in 1980 as a brand with over 7,000 no-frills quality products focusing on cosmetics, clothing, household goods and other categories, and it has opened more than 900 stores worldwide.
Minhang Administration for Market Regulation held that in this case, on one hand, in respect of the goods such as in-bag underwear, cosmetics and pre-packaged food, the rule set is that the goods are not refundable except for any quality problems, for which reason the red stamp reads “Purchases of this product cannot be returned or exchanged for any reason”, which obviously exempted MUJI from such refunding responsibility of the aforesaid goods due to quality problems; On the other hand, such stamps on the store receipts can get consumers mistaken that all the goods on the receipts are not refundable, causing an obvious misunderstanding and excluding the right of the consumer to return goods.
As soon as the news was released, the hashtag “MUJI incurred penalty for non-refundable underwear” landed on the top search of Weibo, a Chinese social media giant, which received a page view of over 53.66 million as of 12:00 on July 1, 2022(China Standard Time)and invited numerous comments of Chinese users.
Some said “this is not making sense, how can anybody refund bought underwear” or “How can the used cosmetics be exchanged? “No way. What if someone else buys the used ones ?”.
Other netizens left comments like “quality problem is definitely a reason for refund” and “I was satisfied upon footing the bill and spotted the problem at home, then many offline shops offer no refund service, in this regard consumer rights are on no account guaranteed” “some cosmetics causes allergy but the store just slight over it by being irresponsible”.
CHAILEEDO Consulted with legal professionals for this issue and learned that the refund rules of MUJI are that the goods are not refundable except for any quality problems, with the red stamp reading “Purchases of this product cannot be returned or exchanged for any reason”, which obviously exempts MUJI from the responsibility of refund due to goods quality, that is to say, the underwear and cosmetic products should all be of quality.
In addition, in 2021, the Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation announced that, in the quantitative packaging commodity net content sampling inspection by variables, 17 batches of products in the toiletries category were found to be unqualified, and MUJI four batches of washing and protecting articles were unqualified, including “MUJI seaweed shampoo” detected to be unqualified; “MUJI seaweed conditioner (refill)” MUJI damage care conditioner (refill) “and” MUJI conditioner (refill) “were detected as unqualified.
In fact, the MUJI “Purchases of this product cannot be returned or exchanged for any reason” statement limits the right of consumers to return goods and is a behavior that does not fully fulfill its responsibility. From the perspective of running a company, MUJI should optimize the mechanism to refund and exchange goods, respond to the demand of consumers promptly, and effectively address the after-sale problems such as refund of goods; It should conduct operations under laws and regulations and formulate rules for refund of goods on the basis of such laws and regulations as the Law of the PRC on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Consumers