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CAC secures $16.8m in compensation for Corporate Area, St James consumers

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Approximately $16.8 million of the $21.5 million in compensation and refunds secured by the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) during 2016/17 was obtained on behalf of consumers in Kingston, St Andrew and St James.

This, according to CAC Chairman, Kent Gammon, was 78 per cent of the total sum secured for the 1,377 complaints resolved from 1,453 handled over the period, representing a resolution rate of 87.89 per cent.

He was speaking at the CAC's quarterly media briefing at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries in New Kingston today.

Gammon said St Andrew, St Catherine and Kingston accounted for most of the 1,453 complaints received.

St Andrew, he indicated, accounted for 27.44 per cent; St Catherine, 20.58 per cent; and Kingston, 16.63 per cent.

Gammon said an analysis of the categories for which complaints were filed with the CAC showed electrical equipment and appliances accounting for 30.28 per cent; utilities, 14.53 per cent; and other services, 12.01 per cent.

Additionally, he said the top-three complaint categories for which refunds and compensation were secured were automotive, 73 per cent; appliances and electronic items, eight per cent and household fixtures, 3.97 per cent.

Meanwhile, the CAC secured approximately $4.3 million in refunds and compensation from 521 complaints handled during the first quarter of the 2017/18 fiscal year, between April and June. This sum, according to Gammon, was 98 per cent more than the $2.18 million secured from 436 complaints for the corresponding period in 2016/17.

Additionally, he said the number of requests for advice on purchases that the CAC received from consumers for the first quarter of the year, increased by 16.81 per cent to 132, compared to 113 for last year.

Gammon is urging consumers to shop around prior to making purchases and use the digital space to broaden awareness.

He is also encouraging persons to act quickly when an issue with a product or service arises, by reporting it immediately to the vendor.

This, he contended, will minimise problems or delays where requests are made for exchanges or refunds.

Gammon said the CAC is committed to “facilitating ethical relations between consumers and vendors in the marketplace”.