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JIS News

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), will join consumer groups around the world in celebrating the inaugural observance of World Consumer Responsibility Day, on September 15.
Speaking with JIS News, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CAC, Dolsie Allen, explained that Consumer International, the international consumer advocacy group, has pointed out that for a very long time, it has been promoting and sensitising persons to their rights, but has not been paying much attention to consumers’ responsibilities.
“With the whole aspect of globalization and borders being opened to various persons and entities to trade, it is even more important for us, as consumers, to be even more aware of our responsibilities,” Ms. Allen explained.
She added that the observance of the day is to sensitise consumers of their responsibility of ensuring that their rights are enforced, noting that while there are laws and regulatory bodies that protect consumers, they still have a vital role to play in ensuring that their rights are honoured.
Mrs. Allen outlined that the consumers’ basic responsibilities include, “general awareness of their rights as consumers; being alert and questioning the use, care, price and quality of goods and services that they use; and to take action and assert themselves, so that they can get a fair deal and value for their money.”
The CEO emphasised the need for consumers to exercise their responsibilities when shopping or carrying out business transactions. “We need to ensure that we ask certain basic questions, ask about warranties, receipts, return and refund policy, and examine the product as much as possible,” Mrs. Allen advised, adding that consumers need to be more discriminating and knowledgeable when making purchases.
“We need to be more vigilant as consumers and that is what the day is all about..to sensitise consumers to the powers that they have to make a difference in this economic sphere that we are operating in,” she noted.
The CEO cited the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), which speaks to the provisions that protect consumers and encouraged persons “to become more aware of the provisions and know what their rights are, so they can exercise their responsibility by demanding their rights.”