Joanne Peters, the press officer for the Prices and Consumer Affairs Division is admonishing consumers to ensure that they check their goods properly prior to purchasing and before leaving the store this Christmas season.
Both consumers and traders are being reminded of the Sales of Goods Act, which defines, among other things, the steps that can be taken in disputes between a trader and consumer and the rights which both parties have.
Peters said that persons should also avail themselves of information relating to the return policy of the business, and other pertinent information relating to their sales policy, which may differ depending on the store the item is purchased at.
She said there have been cases in which consumers purchase an item and do not use it immediately, only to later discover that it is defective.
Peters specifically mentioned electronic items, which she advises should be used once you get home, even for a short period.
“Consumers, please check your items carefully before you purchase them; when you go home. I know this is the season where we find a lot of sales of appliances and other household items. Especially for the small appliances you may be thinking, for example, I’m replacing my blender-now when you purchase that blender don’t just go take it home [and] keep it in the box for the next three four months and then when you open it, it is not working as it should,” Peters cautioned.
“At that time you cannot get redress. So even if you are not quite ready to put that new blender into play, please at least use it to do something. Make some smoothie once or twice to ensure that it is working.”
According to Peters, there is a limited period within which redress can be sought and consumers should avoid missing this timeline. She also called for people to make wise purchasing decisions.
“So again, although you are making your purchases, ensure that you are checking them [and] they are fit for the purpose,” Peters said.
The press officer is also advising traders that the goods which they have on offer are offered as described and should be what the consumer requested.