Thursday 22 March, 2018

Knowing your rights and keeping safe when shopping this Christmas

Loop News is sharing tips for the consumer on keeping safe this holiday season courtesy of watchdog group, the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC).

This CAC notes that this is high season for tricksters as well as pickpockets, chain grabbers, house and car breakers, scammers and just about every undesirable character.

It is therefore advising consumers to be on guard during shopping by doing the following:

¨ Be mindful when getting certain toys and gifts for young children. Check to see if the parts are secured and not easily removed. Loose parts can cause choking in young children. It is good practice to adhere to the manufactures recommended age for a particular toy. Safety of our children must be a priority.

¨ This is the so-called season of lights and consumers are reminded that electrical items not properly installed may cause serious accidents and even death. Decorative lights are good to look at yet they can cause fires in an instance. Do not place decorative lights near highly flammable materials or use with broken extension cords. When it comes to fire safety, prevention is always better than cure.

The basic rights of the consumer

The CAC, which is a staunch advocate for consumer rights is offering shopping tips for the busiest shopping time of the year- the yuletide season. The tips are listed below:

Did you know?

Did you know that when you buy goods in a shop, you have no legal right to return the goods (for exchange or refund) unless the item is faulty or does not match the description given? However, many stores voluntarily allow customers to return or exchange goods during a certain time period. Make sure to check the returns policy of the store where you make your purchase.

Eight Basic Rights of the Consumer:

 You have the right to:

* Basic goods and services which guarantee survival.

 * To safety
* To be informed

* To choose
* To be heard

* To redress
* To consumer education

* To a healthy and sustainable environment.

The CAC is also cautioning consumers to avoid places that say “NO Refunds or Exchange.”

It says consumers should:
*Insist on getting receipts.
*Be careful of advertisements which seem too good to be true.
*Carefully read through Hire Purchase or Loan Agreements, paying closer attention to the Terms and Conditions section.

*Make all efforts to keep your payments up to date. It is embarrassing when the hire purchase company has to repossess your goods and damage your good credit rating.

*Remember that we now have credit bureaus which keep a record of your credit history.