JIS News

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) will be expanding its consumer education programme during the current fiscal year, through the production of messages to reach at least 1.6 million consumers.
As contained in a Ministry Paper tabled in the House of Representatives this week by Minister of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce, Phillip Paulwell, the messages will be distributed through the print and electronic media, expositions, exhibitions and fairs.
The Commission is also seeking to develop a consumer advocacy kit for non-governmental organisations and community-based groups; establish and maintain four additional in-school consumer advocacy clubs and two consumer advocacy groups; and monitor projects supported though the Consumer Alliance Initiative.
Other imperatives include the resolution of at least 80 per cent of complaints received within 10 working days. On average, 2000 complaints are handled each financial year.
For the financial year 2006/07, advice given to consumers by the Commission totalled 1, 974 and requests were mainly for guidance before committing to the purchase of an item or engaging in other business transaction.
Following the recall by Caribbean Cement Company Limited, of all cement packaged between February 19 to 26, 2006 the Commission provided assistance to consumers, who had used the non-conforming cement for construction purposes.
“During the financial year 2006/07, the CAC dealt with 112 cement-related complaints and brought closure to 76. The Commission’s intervention was usually sought because the complaints were not satisfied (through) the Cement Company’s processes whether at the stage of promised visits, assessments of claims made, or the payment of the agreed compensation sums,” said the Ministry Paper.
The Consumer affairs Commission seeks to educate and sensitize Jamaicans as to their rights and obligations as consumers and to resolve consumer complaints against providers of goods and services.

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