Recently, Consumer Reports received complaints from consumers that they bought air conditioners at the Gree dealership in the “Home Life Mall” of Tianhe District, Guangzhou, but they were unable to receive the goods and their application for a refund was delayed indefinitely. . Since the stores involved have closed down, many consumers have been affected, and the total amount involved is relatively high, the incident has attracted widespread attention. In this regard, the Consumer Reports reporter conducted an interview and investigation.
Relevant arrears statistics are provided by consumers
Gree dealer stores embezzled consumers’ money
Consumer Liang Fang (at the request of the interviewee, Liang Fang is a pseudonym) told reporters that in February this year, she bought 3 air conditioners at the Gree store in the Easy Home shopping mall, with a total price of 10,000 yuan. In March, she asked the salesperson to arrange the delivery, but the other party has been delaying the delivery for various reasons such as weather problems and warehouse transfers. So she applied for a refund at the end of March, and the feedback she got at that time was that “the refund will take 15 working days.” But by the end of May, Liang Fang still hadn’t received the refund. She mentioned that every time she asked the store manager, the other party’s feedback was basically “still need to wait” and “reply when there is news”. In the later period, the other party even did not answer the phone or reply to the message.
There are not a few consumers in a similar situation to Liang Fang. According to the cases collected by the reporter, after they purchased the air conditioner, the store also delayed delivery of the air conditioner. The reasons included that the warehouse was closed on weekends, the warehouse was out of stock, and the air conditioner was wet during delivery in rainy weather. Only very few consumers received partial shipments. The longest period of arrears exceeds 3 years. The amount involved in each case ranged from more than 3,000 yuan to more than 30,000 yuan.
The picture was provided by Liang Fang. According to her statement, Ms. Rao in the picture is one of the person in charge of the store
Liang Fang said that when she came to ask for an explanation at the end of May, she found a notice posted in the store, saying that it was closed for renovation due to renovation. But at the beginning of June, when she went to the store again, she found that the store had closed and fled.
The reporter tried to contact Ms. Rao in the picture, but the phone could not be connected. What is intriguing is that Ms. Rao’s number uses Gree ringtones, and she mentioned “good air conditioners, made by Gree”, “we insist on reputation first, quality wins” and other content.
According to the chat records provided by Liang Fang, Ms. Rao admitted that she was in arrears due to business failure, and said that the refund would be made in mid-September at the earliest. This statement proves that the Gree distribution store arbitrarily misappropriated consumers’ money for other business activities. Liang Fang bluntly said that this is equivalent to using consumers’ money to help dealers fill in business holes. It is an unlimited interest-free loan, and even the person in charge is not sure whether he can repay the money.
The reporter visited the Ranjia shopping mall and found that the Gree store has been withdrawn and the outside is closed. According to the employees of nearby stores, this Gree store has been involved in many consumer disputes, and there is a behavior of guiding customers to collect and pay privately. And even the orders for exhibitors at the home fair are “running orders”.
The reporter contacted Mr. Rao, another person in charge of the store. He said that he was not clear about the relevant arrears. The contract with the mall had expired, and the store had not been opened.
The reporter noticed on Dianping that the name of the store is “Gree Electric Appliances (Easy Home Image Store)”, and the score is only 2.6 stars. According to the review feedback, the store has delayed delivery, refunds, invoices and other behaviors.
Gree said that the authorization relationship has expired, and it is recommended to contact the person in charge of the store to deal with it
Regarding the authorization relationship and the supervision of authorized stores, the reporter consulted Gree.
The relevant person in charge of Gree replied to the consumer report that the authorized relationship between Gree and the Guangzhou Ruixue company (the store involved) has expired in April 2023. Regarding related consumption disputes, the other party suggested that the reporter directly contact a person in charge of the store surnamed Zhang. When the reporter asked whether the reason for the end of the authorization relationship was the store’s dishonest operation and how Gree would help the affected consumers, the other party said that they did not know the specific reason and could register information for consumers first.
The picture comes from the Internet
According to the information provided by Liang Fang, the authorization period of Gree and Guangzhou Ruixue Environmental Technology Co., Ltd. is from August 1, 2022 to July 31, 2023. She doesn’t approve of Gree’s attitude. She thinks that Gree is a big brand, and she didn’t actively deal with the incident. The problem is “throwing the blame”. She just wants to get rid of the relationship with the dealer as soon as possible, and doesn’t consider the consumers who buy their products at all. Whether interests are damaged in it.
Image courtesy of Liang Fang
Even according to Gree’s statement, the authorization relationship has ended in April this year, which also reflects to a certain extent that Gree’s supervision of distribution stores is not in place. Relevant supervision does not cover consumers who purchased air conditioners in dealerships in February and March but were delayed in delivery and have applied for refunds.
Does the home actually treat consumers differently?
It is worth mentioning that the consumers who are owed money are also dissatisfied with the Easyhome shopping mall. They think that they are spending in the Gree store of the Easyhome, but they are not guaranteed. According to the reporter’s understanding, some of them, including Liang Fang, paid to the account of the Guangzhou Ruixue store involved.
Manager Zhan of the Easy Home shopping mall told reporters that refunds have been made to consumers who were owed by Gree stores and paid by Easy Home. For consumers who pay directly to the store account, there will be no advance refund for the time being, because the relevant order cannot be verified. The market supervision department and the shopping mall are actively urging a person in charge of the store surnamed Zhang to deal with the incident. He emphasized that the person in charge will go to the site every week to negotiate and deal with it. Of the 22 registered orders that have not yet been refunded, 4 have been processed (3 have been delivered and 1 has been refunded).
Some consumers also showed the reporter the letter of commitment signed by the person in charge, the IOU, the refund agreement, etc. However, the reporter noticed that the promised repayment dates in these documents were inconsistent (both in July and August). Although holding a letter of commitment, they feel that this is just a “blank check”. Because they learned that some letters of commitment have not been processed by the refund date.
The relevant agreement is provided by the consumer
What makes consumers even more disturbed is that the person in charge surnamed Zhang was listed by the people’s court in March this year as a “dishonest person subject to execution” and “restricted consumer person”. document to determine the obligation”, the execution target is 768,000 yuan.
Consumers questioned that the home did not do a good job of payment guidance, causing them to suffer monetary losses. Manager Zhan said that there will be staff to supervise each store, and if POS machines are found to receive and pay privately, they will be confiscated and the store will be punished. The mall also has a payment counter of Easy Home and a reminder of “do not trade privately with merchants”. In the future, the shopping mall will consider improving protection and posting reminders to each store.
However, according to the reporter’s understanding, the dealership delayed delivery in February, and then guided customers to transfer money to the store account. To a certain extent, this reflects that the supervision of Easyhome needs to be improved.
In addition, the reporter’s investigation found that Huaxia Family Fair’s attitude towards and handling of affected consumers is different from that of Easyhome.
According to Mr. Li, a consumer, the Gree store was participating in the China Home Expo at that time, and he ordered the air conditioner on the spot in February, with a total cost of more than 10,000 yuan. Later, he also experienced delays in delivery and refunds, and reported the situation to the Market Supervision Administration at the end of May. Mr. Li said that in mid-June, he received an advance refund from the Huaxia Home Fair. Mr. Li added that although the money was transferred to the account of the store, the Home Expo has done a good job of computer registration, which has given consumers a good guarantee.
Sales slip provided by Mr. Li
Regarding the attribution of responsibility for the above-mentioned arrears, Ouyang Yipeng, a lawyer from Beijing Jingshi (Zhengzhou) Law Firm, stated that according to the provisions of Article 43 of the “Consumer Rights Protection Law”, consumers who purchase goods at trade fairs and rental counters Or accepting services, and its legitimate rights and interests are damaged, it may claim compensation from the seller or service provider. After the end of the exhibition or the expiration of the lease of the counter, compensation can also be claimed from the organizer of the exhibition and the lessor of the counter. The organizer of the exhibition and the lessor of the counter have the right to seek compensation from the seller or service provider after compensation.
The business premises of the Gree dealership in Easyhome is that the store is not a counter or booth, and the Gree store is an independent business entity, so it cannot require Gree dealers to bear joint and several liability for compensation at the home furnishing mall where the Gree dealer is located. However, Easyhome has a certain obligation to review the merchants who settle in, and when there is a consumer dispute, it should also provide necessary assistance to facilitate the resolution of the problem.
For the follow-up of the arrears of the Gree distribution stores this time, Consumer Reports will keep a close eye on it.
It is the peak season for home appliance sales on June 18. Consumer Reports reminds consumers that for large-scale consumption, it is necessary to verify whether the merchant is direct sales or distribution. It is necessary to verify whether the distributors transfer the payment to the headquarters in time to order the goods, so as to prevent the distributors from misappropriating the payment at will.
Source: Consumer Reports, Shandong Business Daily