Furniture, decoration industry guidelines
WITH the rise in one-stop furniture and decoration service providers, industry leaders are coming out with guidelines to regulate the market.
The agencies provide a tailored-service — from designing the apartment, deciding on the furniture to interior decor and decoration — everything necessary for a new apartment.
But the Shanghai Consumer Council said yesterday that it had found several flaws and cases of cheating in the unregulated industry.
It carried out tests on 13 brands including Oppein, Lami, Liweijia and Wenchao and found several problems from unreasonable charges, lack of material labeling, and emission of harmful substances. Their service charges range from 11,500 yuan (US$1,769) and 128,000 yuan.
The council said contract promises were not kept. In some cases the size of furniture promised was smaller or the promised material not used.
Customers were charged extra at times, while there were issues with the thickness of furniture plates, brands and hardware.
Some of the furniture discharged excessive harmful substances including formaldehyde and volatile organic compound, or TVOC.
Fu Wei, deputy secretary general of the Shanghai Chemical Building Materials Association, said the business was not transparent and it was difficult for clients to recognize different materials and avoid scams.
The industry guideline, that will be implemented from March 15, will insist that the service providers be transparent on the use of materials and honor the agreement.