Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 27th 2015 Contents Knowing your rights as a consumer is essential
as you seek to embark on this year's Christmas
shopping. You've worked very hard all year long
and would not like to feel swindled out of your
hard earned cash.
While many vendors and store owners may not
actually realise what they're doing might be illegal, it
is up to the individual shopper to know and stand up
for their own rights.
You may be surprised by what you consider to be
the norm, or acceptable practices. We've compiled a
list of tips based on information from the Consumer
Affairs Division, which is an excellent source of infor-
mation in this regard. They are also your source of
redress in circumstances where initial attempts to
negotiate with the vendor may be unfruitful.
Here's what you need to know:
Refund and Return Policies
Find out the store's policies on returns and re-
funds BEFORE you purchase any goods. It is impor-
tant to note however that signs such as 'No
Refunds, No Exchanges' or 'No Refund on Sale
Items' is in contravention of 'The Adverse Trade
Practices Order 2000' which states that "these
statements cannot be displayed or published in no-
tices, advertisements, receipts, bills or other docu-
ments which are given to consumers." They also
cannot be displayed on business premises.
If you purchase an item which turns out to be de-
fective, you are in fact entitled to any form of re-
dress. According to the CAD, "It may be a full refund
for the cost of the item, repairs to the item, an ex-
change for a similar product, or a credit note to the
value of the item."
Terms and Conditions
Another section of The Order "requires suppliers
of goods to include all Terms & Conditions in con-
tracts with consumers."
There should be no hidden fees or surprise condi-
tions after the item has been purchased, whether it
pertains to repairs, warranties etc.
As dictated by The Order, "Suppliers of goods can-
not unilaterally introduce a new term into a contract
after that contract has been entered into with the
Receipts and Other Documentation
Always be sure to receive a valid receipt for your
purchase, even from less 'official' vendors such as
those at flea markets. Your receipt is your proof of
purchase, and it is your right to demand one. It
should at the very least include the name of the ven-
dor, the date of purchase, an accurate description of
the item purchased, and of course the cost.
Also, remember to keep all documents related to
your purchase (receipts, contracts, warranties and
guarantees) in a safe place. In the event that you
need to seek redress for any reason, you will need to
A Supplier's Protection
Despite the popular saying that "the customer is
always right," a supplier or vendor is well within their
right to protect their business from unscrupulous
customers by clearly outlining their return policy. For
instance, "Returns will be accepted within 7 days of
purchase if the item is in its original condition and
packaging. Customer must provide original receipt."
This is not applicable to defective items. A return
is not guaranteed for items that are not defective.
It's your Choice
As the consumer, always remember that it is your
choice to decide which product you will purchase
from which vendor and at what cost. Never feel
pressured into deciding on a purchase you're not en-
tirely comfortable with. It is your responsibility to
shop safely, and wisely.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, November 27, 2015
FRAME $ 9.50
HI VIS REFEC-
FOOTWEAR 6" H
K044 HARD HAT
RED, BLUE, GRE
K120AF ANTI FOG
40 Cipero Road, San Fernando, Trinidad, W.I.
Tel: (868) 652-3571/4632 * Fax: (868) 652-6407/5575
By Joseanne Henry
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