CAC SECURES INCREASED REFUNDS AND COMPENSATION ON BEHALF OF AGGRIEVED CONSUMERS BY 30.4 PERCENT

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) has increased its refunds and compensation collection on behalf of aggrieved consumers by 30.4 percent during the 2014/2015 Financial Year. As a result, over J$39.7 million in refunds and compensations was secured which represents an increase of $9.2 million over the 2013/2014 Financial Year.

Chief Executive Officer at the CAC, Mrs Dolsie Allen revealed that, “the Commission secured resolution for 1,391 of 1,580 complaints handled during the period, which represents a resolution rate of 88 percent. In addition, the Commission also responded to 790 requests for advice.” 
The top three complaints categories for the 2014/2015 Financial Year were Appliances and Electronic Items 30.33%; Utilities 12.5% and Motor Vehicles 11%. However, the categories that garnered the most refunds and compensations were Automotive 68.47 percent or $27.3 million; Utility Services $4.1 million or 10.4 percent; and, Appliances and Electronic Items 9.3 percent or $3.6 million.

The remaining complaints categories comprised Computers; Hardware and Household Fixtures; Cable Services; Clothing, Food, Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals & Miscellaneous; Other Services (including finance, laundry, hair, medical, education); Furniture;  and Other.

“This is the second consecutive year that the Automobile category has been the largest contributor to the refunds and compensations obtained, noted Mrs Allen.” The CEO is therefore advising consumers to do their due diligence prior to purchasing automobiles or any other high value investment.  She recommends “shopping around at the various car marts to ascertain prices, reviewing the terms and conditions of the contract before making a purchase; and importantly securing the services of a certified or experienced mechanic to examine vehicles and check for defects, or any other issues that may arise, before purchasing.”  In addition, consumers may also Contact the Central Motor Vehicle Registry at Revenue Services Centre, 191 Constant Spring Road, Kingston 8 where they can verify whether:

  1. The engine and chassis numbers on the relevant documents agree with the engine and chassis numbers on the vehicle; and if there is a title for the vehicle to be purchased.

Mrs Allen is encouraging consumers, “to act quickly when they have an issue with a purchase or service by reporting it immediately to the vendor. In so doing, problems or delays will be minimised in instances where requests are made for exchanges or refunds.”

The CEO is also urging consumers to utilise the services of the Commission not only after the purchase of an item, but also prior to making a purchase, as the CAC is committed to assisting consumers to be more vigilant and discriminating, especially in these harsh economic times. Both consumers and vendors are being advised to be aware of the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act prior to engaging in any business transactions.

The Consumer Affairs Commission is the government agency established to inform, educate and empower consumers to protect themselves in the marketplace. The CAC operates under the Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (Amended 2012).


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Contact:

The Communications Unit
Consumer Affairs Commission
34 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 10
Tel: 906-5425/906-8568
Mobile: 564-8942 or 564-8902
Email: JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING and JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
 

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