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Posted: Wednesday 13 March, 2024 at 2:28 PM

Consumer Rights Department Pushing Education during Week of Activities

By: Staff Reporter,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -- THE Consumer Rights Department has intensified its efforts to monitor supermarkets and business establishments due to the persistent issue of non-compliance with expired goods. Over the past year, more than 100 instances of non-compliance have been recorded, similar to the previous calendar year. 


    However, the effectiveness of compliance measures is hindered by the lack of complaints received by the Department, as individuals often prefer to voice their grievances on social media rather than through official channels.


    "We urge consumers to come forward and lodge complaints if they encounter legitimate issues," Tracia Delaney, Communications Officer at the Department of Consumer Affairs. "However, if the concern is not genuine, we encourage individuals not to burden the department with unnecessary claims."


    In the past two years, the Department has increased its scrutiny of establishments, including numerous supermarkets, and has observed the removal of expired canned goods or produce deemed unfit for consumption. During their appearance on WINN FM's Voices program, officials highlighted their findings and emphasized the government's recent amendment to legislation, allowing for the issuance of tickets to organizations found to be violating regulations.


    These tickets will range from $750 to $2,000, officials noted, If expired goods are found, a ticket will be issued. Similarly, if dual pricing is detected, where two different prices are affixed to one item, the consumer will be charged the lower price. Businesses found engaging in such practices will be penalized.


    According to officials, the Consumer Rights Department is empowered to enforce consumer protection laws and penalize businesses that disregard them.


    "We will exercise discretion in enforcement," Delaney assured . "Minor infractions may warrant a warning rather than immediate penalties. However, repeated or egregious violations will be addressed firmly."


    The Consumer Rights Department intends to publicly disclose entities that have failed to uphold consumer protection standards.




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