The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is encouraging persons to be diligent when doing Christmas shopping.
Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank session on December 11, CAC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dolsie Allen, urged consumers to be diligent in determining how best to navigate the generally hectic environment resulting from heightened commercial activities that are synonymous with Yuletide season.
“Don’t give up your rights. You need to know them, including the right to information, redress, safety, and to be heard. Do your due diligence by checking with friends and families to see what is happening on the market before making purchases,” she said.
Mrs Allen also advised consumers to familiarise themselves with advertised discounts and deals.
“We are encouraging you to do the math yourself, so you know what exactly you are getting into. Even if you are getting a deal, still ask for your warranty before your purchase is completed; it is important that you ask for your warranty and that you get it in writing. Ensure that you know what exactly the warranty is for, especially for high-priced items such as a stove,” she explained.
Consumers are also encouraged to check the quality of items being procured before leaving business places.
“Be vigilant by looking at the labels of the product you’re purchasing, [and] look at the quality of what you are buying, especially for food items,” Mrs. Allen emphasized.
She cited instances where establishments offering specials, may package items together in a manner that advertently conceals key information such as expiry dates.
“Sometimes [the products] are close to expiring or have expired already. So you have to look at things like these,” the CEO outlined.
Mrs. Allen said while the CAC is not suggesting that business persons are unscrupulous in this regard or otherwise, it imperative that consumers exercise the necessary safeguards.
“Ensure that you get your receipts, as [they are] your proof of purchase; and in the event that anything goes wrong, at least you have the receipt which will make it easier to seek redress,” she added.
The CAC is the national agency responsible for consumer advocacy. For further information, persons can call 876-906-5425 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.