Officials of the Consumer Protection Commission participated in this week’s press briefing held at the Office of the Prime Minister.

Senior Supervisor of Education and Training, Lavade Darling spoke about the Commission’s Receipt and Refund Campaign. “We realized when we analyzed our stats and we look back at our cases we found that a common denominator was persons that just wanted to exchange an item and for whatever reason. Ladies, you might have purchased a shoe, you wear it once, the heal falls off no fault of yours, you want to return it, they tell you you have to accept a store credit you cannot get a refund. You say you want a cash refund, they say no. That is illegal. According to the Consumer Protection Act it provides the conditions under which you can receive a cash refund that is your choice. The right to choose is a basic consumer right and anybody who tries to deprive you of that right to choose by dictating to you as a consumer that you have to accept a store credit, whereby you may want a cash refund or exchange the item, that is a violation of the act. Store policies are not the law of the land,” he said.

He also stated that there are stores on Bay Street targeting tourists particularly cruise ship passengers. Darling explained, “they would purchase an item for X amount of dollars and they give you some free items and when these tourists get back to their home they find that their credit card has been charged ten thousand, fifteen thousand for an item that really should have cost what they agreed to purchase. That is a cause of major concern for us. We are working with the other relevant agencies to address that.”

The Consumer Protection Commission is also concerned about credit and debit card use fees which they are seeking to address by introducing legislation to enforce the merchant services agreement. The Commission is also lobbying to have the 1969 Burial Ground Act updated to address the mortuary industry.