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  • The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) secured more than $30.51 million in refunds and compensation on behalf of aggrieved consumers, during the 2013/14 financial year.
  • For the same period, the CAC also handled a total of 1,499 consumer complaints.
  • The figures are a clear indication of the level of grievances consumers are facing out there in the marketplace, as well as the relevance and impact of the work of the CAC.

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) secured more than $30.51 million in refunds and compensation on behalf of aggrieved consumers, during the 2013/14 financial year.

For the same period, the CAC also handled a total of 1,499 consumer complaints.  Of that number, 1,229 cases were settled, giving an average resolution rate of 82 per cent.

This was disclosed by State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, while making her contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 18.

Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said the figures are a clear indication of the level of grievances consumers are facing out there in the marketplace, as well as the relevance and impact of the work of the CAC.

“I call upon all consumers to be vigilant and to use the resources of the Commission, rather than giving up your rights,” she said.

In the meantime, the State Minister said last financial year was also marked by intensified lobbying from the Jamaica Bankers Association (JBA) for acceptance of the Code of Conduct by the banking sector.

This, she said, resulted in the sector developing a Voluntary Code, which included almost all areas of the National Consumers’ League (NCL)/CAC code, with the exception of three critical areas, namely: non-discriminatory access; a “cooling-off” period; and the display of fees on ATMs.

Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said the Commission continues to lobby the JBA for the inclusion of these three critical provisions in the Code and based on feedback, the discussions have been favourable.

The CAC is a 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.