JIS News

Jamaicans were on Wednesday (March 17), reminded of their basic rights as consumers, during the staging of a Consumer Expo in observance of World Consumer Rights Day at the Carib Cinema’s car park, Cross Roads, Kingston.
The expo was part of a week of activities planned to recognise World Consumer Rights Day, which was observed on March 15 by the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) under the theme: “Your Money, Your Rights.”
Communications Specialist at the CAC, Miss Dorothy Campbell, told JIS News that this year’s theme originated from the umbrella organisation, Consumer International (CI), and was endorsed by the CAC because of its relevance to Jamaica.
“We did our own assessment and it was found that the number one concern for consumers was banking. This year, we recognise that it is not just a Jamaica concern, but a regional and global concern,” she said.
Miss Campbell said research showed that banking contracts, rates and hidden fees were at the top of the list of complaints for consumers worldwide.
“It is not only the theme for Consumer Rights Day, but we also have a regional project being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and CI, focusing on consumer protection, as it relates to banking and customer relations,” she said.
Miss Campbell explained that, for Jamaicans, the most common grouses seen among consumers as it relates to banking and financial institutions were the hidden fees.
She said one of the fundamental rights of the consumer is the right to be heard and the right to make a choice and the consumers are unable to make an informed choice, if they are not given all the required information.
She further advised consumers to do their research, ask as many questions as they can and always ask for the terms and conditions in writing.
Several financial institutions, including the National Commercial Bank and the City of Kingston Cooperative Credit Union were on hand to give monetary and policy advice to consumers, during Wednesday’s expo.

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