Saturday 18 May, 2019

CAC warns of defective merchandise and inflated prices for the holiday

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is urging Jamaicans to take steps to protect themselves from defective merchandise and inflated prices during the Christmas shopping season.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the CAC, Dolsie Allen, is encouraging consumers to shop around to compare prices, and check product specifications and quality before making purchases, especially with regard to electrical equipment and appliances.

“After doing your research…, shop around because we have a lot of stores that sell the same items. So it is important to identify stores that are more accommodating towards the customer, such as allowing you to try and test your items before leaving the store,” Allen cautioned.

CAC data indicate a nine per cent increase in complaints filed about electrical equipment and appliances this year.

Allen is also advising that shoppers request a detailed receipt upon completing their transactions. She said that the receipt should include the name of the store, the date of the purchase, a description of the item purchased, and the fees attached to the purchase of the item.

“There are a number of stores that are prepared to give you a discount or (allow you) not to pay the General Consumption Tax (GCT), but they will not give you a receipt. If something is wrong with the item, then you will find it difficult to prove that you actually did the purchase, because you have no receipt. So ensure that you receive one,” she pointed out.

The CEO has also advised consumers to pay keen attention to vendors' warranty and return policies.

She said: “Be clear on what is covered by the warranty — the length, and what action can void the warranty. For example, if you purchase a product and it needs installation, if the installation is expensive, you are tempted to go and get it free or at a cheaper cost. If things go wrong, then you would have voided the warranty, so ensure you are informed about the terms of the warranty,” Allen explained.

The CAC also cautioned that shoppers should keep their budgets in mind and not get carried away by attractive sale offerings that typically flood the market during the shopping season.

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