No legal protection for online shoppers – CCAC

first_imgAlthough the number of persons now rushing to the online markets has increased significantly in Guyana, the country is still dragging behind as it lacks laws to protect such customers.This was related by Guyana Consumer and Competition Affairs Commission (CCAC) Public Relations Officer Allison Parker during an interview with Guyana Times on Tuesday.As pointed out by her, the Consumer Affairs Act only provides guidelines forAn upset customer who sourced an item onlineelectronic sale transactions locally.This means that persons who source items online from overseas suppliers have no rights if an item arrives and does not meet the specification.The CCAC said: “The Consumer Affairs Act does not provide jurisdiction for cross-border e-commerce.”While this is the harsh reality, the consumer body noted that at the third session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy, a decision was made to extend the mandate to include a Working Group on Consumer Protection on E-Commerce (WGE).The WGE is tasked with the responsibility of recommending policy options for consumer protection authorities of member states in light of its guidelines. Its mandate was given by the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy in the second session held in July 2018 in Geneva.The three main areas of focus for the group will be tackling misleading and unfair business practices, consumer education and business guidance, and most importantly, international cooperation in cross-border cases.With regard to legislation the Consumer Affairs Act states, “The Minister may, after consultation with the Commission, make regulations for the purpose of protecting consumers in relation to electronic sale transactions.”Persons have many a time complained of sourcing items from online stores only to receive, in some cases, an entirely different item when it comes to clothing, makeup, accessories, and even electronics.Meanwhile, in terms of other complaints in the areas of electronics, appliances, vehicles, and other items, the Commission said it has received a total of 273 complaints from customers who were unable to get value for their dollar.The number of other complaints received from the beginning of the year to December 10, 2018 has increased when compared with the figure from last year. CCAC has noted that these complaints are valued at $86,156,466.In fact, when the Commission compared its statistics for 2017 and 2018 during its mid-year analysis, it was found that complaints received by the unit have increased by a massive 78 per cent.These figures only reflect items that were sourced locally.last_img

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