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Home >About our Member Organizations >Consumers Union of Korea

Address: 272-1, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul;   Tel: 82-2-795-1042, 82-2-794-7081
   Fax: 82-2-798-6564

Founded on January 20, 1970, the Consumers Union of Korea is Korea's first consumer association. Our endeavors over the past 30 years laid the groundwork for consumer movement in Korea and broadened its base. The Union is now also addressing new consumer issues emerging from today's changed social and economic environment since the digital revolution, and is as actively committed as ever to its mission as an advocate of consumers and their interest.
Our focus is also on educating the public about their rights and responsibilities to help them become more rational and wise consumers. We engage in various consumer awareness campaigns in this direction.
The Union, with its central headquarters located in Seoul, has seven regional headquarters in places including Incheon, Uijeongbu, Chuncheon, Mokpo, Daegu, and Busan.

  1) Information access through our Consumer Information Centers
    - In 2002, 122,000 cases of consumer complaints were filed with our consumer information centers nationwide. We demanded a refund of 1,440,000,000 won on sales made through illegal marketing practices including home solicitation marketing to concerned companies, and brought our case to the authorities. The claim was successfully negotiated in favor of consumers, who received due compensation.
    - Mobile counseling centers for the handicapped and other underprivileged groups, and a Foreigner Hotline to assist foreign nationals living and working in Korea
  2) Consumer education
    - In addition to educational programs for general consumers, we offer courses and workshops to train future consumer movement leaders and consumer watchdogs.
    - 'The Consumer Academy,' opened on September 1, 1979, offered lectures on Thursday of every week until December 2002 for 750 total sessions.
  3) Product testing activities at our testing lab
    - To be able to provide consumers with accurate information as to the quality, performance and safety of products released on the market, we periodically sample specimens among the most-widely distributed products, testing them in our own testing lab, or joint-testing at specialized labs on their premises.
  4) Market research and consumer awareness surveys
    - We continuously monitor consumer product quality and prices throughout all marketing channels, including traditional markets, retail spaces and e-marketplaces.
    - We regularly conduct surveys on consumer behavior, consumption patterns and consumer awareness and provide the results to authorities to use as basis for formulating new consumer policies.
  5) Neighborhood environmental initiatives and energy saving campaigns
    - Our neighborhood environment initiatives are carried out in collaboration with 32 other organizations in related areas.
    - Our surveillance activity on air pollutant emissions by automobiles finds every year some 3,000 cases of violation on average, notified to the authorities.
    - We launch energy saving campaigns on a regular basis, and are active participants in the 'Green Lighting' campaign.
  6) Advertising monitoring
    - We monitor advertising in printed media as well as aired on TV and radio to identify false or exaggerated claims or otherwise misleading advertising content, and demand corrective actions.
  7) 4-party talks and consumer forum to collect consumer opinions
    - We host 4-party talks and discussion meetings on various consumer issues, attended by concerned government officials and experts, to seek out policy solutions.
  8) Anti-smoking campaigns
    - We engage in activities to inform the public about the dangers of smoking, one of the most serious health hazards of our time, and to deter people from smoking, including enlarging non-smoking sections in public spaces and displaying postings warning of the health risks of smoking. Furthermore, we continuously monitor TV series and lodge complaints against broadcasters airing scenes of smoking. In December 2002, KBS and SBS agreed to ban smoking scenes from their programs.

#701, Seoul YWCA, 1-1, Myeongdong 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, (Postal code: 100-021)
  TEL 82-2-774-4050   FAX 82-2-774-4090     E-mail : sohyub@consumer.or.kr