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  • The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) has secured in excess of $24 million on behalf of aggrieved consumers for the 2013/14 financial year to date, Chief Executive Officer of the organization, Dolsie Allen, has disclosed.
  • Mrs. Allen credits the reduction to the fact that persons are becoming more vigilant and aware of their rights, and exercising greater intelligence in their purchasing decisions.
  • Mrs. Allen is also encouraging consumers to act quickly when they have an issue with a purchase or service by reporting it immediately to the vendor. In so doing, problems or delays will be minimized in instances where requests are made for exchanges or refunds.

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) has secured in excess of $24 million on behalf of aggrieved consumers for the 2013/14 financial year to date,  Chief Executive Officer of the organization, Dolsie Allen, has disclosed.

In an interview with JIS News, Mrs. Allen informed that the sum was for the settlement of 1,108 of 1,421 complaints received, representing a 78 per cent resolution rate.

“We are having some challenges with the resolutions this year as we have quite a few outstanding motor vehicle cases and this has significantly impacted our resolution rate,” she noted, adding that overall, there has been a reduction in the complaints received by the Commission.

Mrs. Allen credits the reduction to the fact that persons are becoming more vigilant and aware of their rights, and exercising greater intelligence in their purchasing decisions.

“There has been an increase in the number of persons calling our offices seeking advice prior to purchase, so this has reduced the need to complain, because persons would have gone armed with the information, and the pitfalls that they would normally encounter, they would have been able to have this sorted out long before the purchase has been made,” the CEO pointed out.

Interestingly, she informed that providers and vendors have called occasionally to get advice on how to deal with a particular issue or to be reminded of the consumers’ rights in certain instances. “So,  consumers are becoming more vigilant and providers are also putting mechanisms in place to deal with complaints before they reach to us,” Mrs. Allen said.

The CEO noted that the most frequent complaints filed were in the categories of automotive, particularly the model year discrepancy; hardware and household fixtures; utility services; and electrical equipment and appliances.

In relation to motor vehicles, the CEO is recommending that consumers shop around at the various car marts to ascertain prices, the terms and conditions of the contract, before making a purchase.  “Importantly, they should secure the services of a certified or experienced mechanic to examine vehicles and check for defects, or any other issues that may arise, before purchasing,” she advises.

Mrs. Allen  is also encouraging consumers to act quickly when they have an issue with a purchase or service by reporting it immediately to the vendor. In so doing, problems or delays will be minimized in instances where requests are made for exchanges or refunds.

The Consumer Affairs Commission is the government agency established to inform, educate and empower consumers to protect themselves in the marketplace. The CAC operates under the Trade Act of 1955 and the Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (Amended 2012).