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Regional Officer at the Consumer Affairs Commission, Richard Rowe.
Photo: Contributed

Consumers are being encouraged to use the proper channels to seek redress for issues they have with products purchased.

Speaking at a virtual event, ‘Jamaican Consumer Talks’, Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) Regional Officer, Richard Rowe, noted that the process of redress has the three ‘Rs’ – repair, replace or refund.

“The first option for the vendor is to repair the item. During that period, you are entitled to a loaner item. It applies to just about anything that has a warranty on it, including a car, refrigerator or a phone. If the repair doesn’t work, then you should expect it to be replaced and it should be one of comparable price and standard to what you previously purchased,” he explained.

He noted that if the company is unable to replace or repair the item, a refund is the next step and consumers should reach out to the CAC if the vendor is not cooperative.

Mr. Rowe advised consumers to procure a warranty when completing a transaction.

“Ensure that the warranty is written, even if it is not on the receipt, ask that it is given so you have a document. The vendor should issue a warranty on the goods offered. If no warranty was offered when the CAC gets involved, we will impose a six-month warranty, whether it is new or used,” he explained.

He added that consumers should reach out to the merchant they purchased the product from, when they have identified an issue or concern.

“It is important to engage them first, share what has happened and if you are not satisfied with the response, then you escalate the matter to the supervisor and if it is still not satisfactory having done all that you can, then you escalate the matter to the CAC,” he said.

Mr. Rowe cautioned consumers to take certain steps to protect themselves.

“Learn about the warranty policy for any product that you purchase. You have a responsibility to store the warranty document properly so you can always refer to it. You can also take photos of the receipt and store it in online storage in case you lose the physical receipt,” he added.

He noted that consumers should avoid merchants that sell an item under “as is where is” conditions.

“If the vendor is aware of the purpose of your purchase, then that policy doesn’t come into play. The fact that the consumer is relying on the vendor to provide an expert judgement in the purchasing of the items, then you expect that they are selling you a quality product,” Mr. Rowe said.

The CAC is the national agency responsible for consumer advocacy. For further information, persons can call 876-906-5425 or email info@cac.gov.jm.

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