Do you know your rights?

Author : teriann

What would you do if you purchased a product and after taking it home discovered that it was defective? What about if you paid for a service which you did not receive?

If you know the answers to the questions above then chances are you are very aware of your rights as a consumer.  Unfortunately, many people do not know that as consumers they have any rights at all.

They accept sub standard service and unsafe environments because they simply are unaware or at times they might choose to ignore the situation as they have become accustomed to it.

All consumers should know their rights when purchasing goods or services. Consumers have the right to be protected from fraud or hazardous goods, be informed, to choose, to be heard and to seek redress.

The Jamaican business environment has not always placed great emphasis on putting their customers first.  Often consumers face steep prices and shoddy service.

In most areas, consumers react to the poor service in frustration as minor infractions are often difficult to prosecute as those affected might simply not want to be involved in a legal battle.

So is there any hope for consumers?

Well in recent years, there have been talks about establishing a Consumer Protection Tribunal. This tribunal would be a judicial body which could be a viable option to going through the already heavily burdened court system.

This proposed tribunal would settle complaints brought against businesses by consumers in a short time span.

The Consumer Affairs Commission (C.A.C) would be working closely with the tribunal which would also be able to authorize compensation to consumers if such an action is warranted.

If that does get established I think it will be a positive step as consumers will have a way of letting their voices be heard when they have legitimate complaints against companies.

Mark the date, March 15, as on this date the world will celebrate  World Consumer Rights Day. More information on the activities organized for this day will be posted soon.

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner Online Writer


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2 Responses to “Do you know your rights?”

  1. Althea Birch says:

    Can a disgruntled customer refer a case directly to the Tribunal if the Consumer Affairs Commission doesn’t consider it to be worth pursuing?

    If so, what is the procedure?

  2. teriann says:

    Well Althea based on the information supplied by the website the complaints have to go through the Consumer Affairs Commission. They then decide how best to go forward. You can get more information on this website:

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