Mandeville businesses breaching the Consumer Protection Act

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A payment machine issuing a receipt. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Some businesses in Mandeville are in breach of the Consumer Protection Act as they continue to turn away customers without their receipts. The Monitor Tribune observed that some businesses, namely those that are Asian owned do not observe the practice of giving receipts to their customers, unless it is requested. During one transaction that was done by the Tribune, a receipt was requested, and we were informed that there was no paper available for printing receipts. In some cases where a form of proof of purchase is provided, customers are given register tapes instead of valid receipts. This makes it difficult for customers to seek any form of redress if they are not satisfied with their purchase.

Claudia Blake, a customer of one of these businesses shared how difficult it was for her to return an item that she realized was faulty after having gone home. “I bought a picture frame some weeks ago and it looked good while it was in the packaging but when mi reach home, put the picture in and everything and tried to prop it up, I realized that something was wrong with the back part. It couldn’t stand up,” she explained. Blake went on to say that when she went back to the store to return the picture frame, she had problems proving she had actually bought the item from the store. “Eventually I got back my money but it was only because time was on my side. One of the cashiers remembered me and from there things started to go my way. But, imagine if the cashier never remembered me or I waited a longer time to bring back the [picture] frame, I probably wouldn’t get back my money,” she said.

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) has been urging consumers to be careful about the proofs of purchase they are given when shopping this Christmas season. Director of Communications of the CAC, Latoya Halstead is encouraging constomers to ask for their receipts whenever they make a purchase. “So, when you go to any store, and that [cash register tape] is what is being proffered to you as a receipt, we are encouraging you to say, ‘no, I need something written. Can you please write out properly what it is that I have bought’,” Halstead said.

Section 20 of the Consumer Protection Act outlines that consumers must be given a receipt showing the amount paid for goods or services, the amount paid as a professional fee where applicable, the date of the purchase, a description of the goods or services sold and any other relevant information relating to the transaction. With that receipt consumers will have adequate proof of their purchase for a refund if needed. The Act states that any provider who is in breach of this could ne fined up to $50,000 or imprisoned for 30 days or both fined and imprisoned.

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