AS consumers continue to shop during the Yuletide season the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is advising shoppers not to accept poorly documented cash register tapes as substitutes for receipts from vendors.
Cash register tapes vary from store to store but generally contain the merchant's details, including a GCT number, store's refund or exchange policy, and limited information about the items bought.
Oftentimes tapes are passed off as receipts and director of communications at the CAC, Latoya Halstead is reminding the public that receipts must reflect name of the entity, its address, contact number, and a description of the item bought.
"It is important that when you purchase items that you demand your receipts… especially for high-value items," Halstead told JIS News.
She explained that a receipt makes the redress process easier, especially in cases where the item bought is the incorrect fit, defective, damaged, or does not meet expectations.
"So, when you go to any store and that [cash register tape] is what is being proffered to you as a receipt, we are encouraging you to say, 'No, I need something written. Can you please write out properly what it is that I have bought,' " she said.
Halstead is also urging shoppers to get written warranties for high-value items, to include motor vehicles and appliances, as warranties guarantee that consumers can go back to the seller with a product within a particular period and have arising issues addressed without incurring additional costs.
She noted, however, that in some cases the opposite occurs and shoppers may have to bear the expense if the whole product is not covered under the security given by the vendor.
"For example, if you purchase a refrigerator you [may get] a 10-year warranty on the compressor, however that does not necessarily mean that you have the warranty on the board that is associated with the compressor. So, in instances like this, we also encourage consumers to do their research [before making a purchase]," Halstead said.
She pointed out that consumers have a right to information and to choose, and encouraged shoppers to exercise these rights properly.
The CAC is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce and has a responsibility to protect consumers. It carries out its mandate through consumer education, the handling of complaints, and by conducting market surveillance.
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