Workers work at a warehouse of an intelligent distribution center of Chinese e-commerce trader JD.com in Gu'an, North China's Hebei province, June 14, 2016. The logistic working staff of JD.com are preparing for its "618" online shopping festival which is an e-commerce sales promotion activity around June 18. [Photo/Xinhua]
Online shoppers in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu province, will be charged an extra fee from Sept 1, if couriers have to make a third trip to deliver a particular order. The decision made by the local legislature has sparked a heated public debate. Beijing Times commented on Monday:
In response to why Nanjing residents will be charged extra from next month, the local legislative authorities said the new regulation was issued to reduce the waste of labor and resources, saving those delivering goods the trouble of making repeated deliveries.
Such a fee makes sense to most express companies and their employees, but they have not yet been told how much they can charge. For customers, however, it is the last thing they would expect, because both they themselves and those delivering the goods can be responsible for failed deliveries.
As of now, most express companies cannot guarantee that customers will receive their parcels at an exact time or as promised, due to a variety of unpredictable factors such as traffic jams. Such being the case, it can be very difficult to determine who should be responsible for a failed delivery.
The rapidly expanding express delivery sector, following the rise of internet-based services and e-commerce in China, needs relevant regulations to sustain its robust growth. It is an orderly market environment and customers' legal interests that matter the most.
In other words, the relevant laws and regulations should elaborate on the protection of parcels and customers' personal information, as well as compensation that come with damaged and lost parcels. The fees should be decided by the market through healthy competition.
To make sure the internet-driven industries function properly, the legislative authorities are supposed to establish basic principles, create a benign market environment, and draw bottom lines, not fix the price of a particular commodity or service.
The truth is, unsuccessful deliveries can be reduced through more efficient communications between customers and couriers and community-based lockers for unattended parcels. That said, it is the market that should decide whether customers have to pay an extra fee for repeated deliveries.