The Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission (CCAC)
STUDENT NEWSLETTER Government plays a vital role in the protection of consumers. The areas of consumer protection include: The Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission (CCAC) u The Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission (CCAC) was established in 2006 and became fully operational in 2010. The Commission functions objectively in executing the laws governing two acts, namely the Competition and Fair Trading Act NO.11 of 2006 (CFTA) and the Consumer Affairs Act NO.13 of 2011 (CAA). u The CCAC comprises two technical units: The Consumer Affairs Unit and the Competition Policy Unit.
Who is a consumer? A consumer is someone who acquires goods and services for personal consumption, or any other person’s private use or private consumption. Effects of Modern Technology on Consumer Transactions Greater Access, Better Communication, Greater Choices and Convenience Modern technology are advanced means of technology. Modern Technology has made it easier for consumers to have greater access to products worldwide, better communication and faster transaction processes. It however has its disadvantages such as scams. This has caused the need for greater online protection for consumers. According to a report by Consumer International, “E-commerce”, or buying products and services online, has transformed the way we consume. Consumers with a connected device and a payment method can buy anything such as music, food items and books, accommodation; or buy tickets to events. This new way to trade has opened up a vast array of choices for consumers and enhanced convenience on a scale never seen before. Digital technology is having a dramatic impact on consumers around the world, creating many new beneﬁts including better communication, access to information and greater choice and convenience”. Through the use of modern technology consumers have: u distinct ways to reach regional and international partners u are able to keep up with trends in technology u are able to make payments through internet transfers Disadvantages such as scams and the need for online protection and consumer education Along with beneﬁts, e-commerce raises key issues for consumers such as: Ÿ Access to fair and secure markets: being sure there is redress when things go wrong, and being exposed to scams and fraud. Because of this, the consumer movement must work to ensure that digital marketplaces are fairer for everyone. Ÿ
The best way for a consumer to protect themselves against s u c h c as e s of s c am is by education. Programs designed to help all consumers better equipped when transacting online purchases are important.
Since technology is constantly changing demonstrations and constant training is necessary for both the consumer and the facilitators of the process.
Few Quick Consumer Tips
Receipts Consumer know your rights: After a purchase of a good or service you must be provided with a receipt detailing: § Purchase price inclusive of Value Added Tax (Vat) separately. § The date of purchase A description of your good or service.
Consumers you have a right to a refund All consumers have the right to a refund, stores cannot take away that right claiming they have a “NO REFUND” policy or displaying a “NO REFUND” or “GOODS NOT RETURNABLE” sign. It is an offence.
Can goods be returned? Yes, a consumer may return a good providing that the purpose for which the good(s) were bought have changed or ceased to exist immediately after the purchase.
Conditions for an Exchange or a Refund Ø Consumers you have up to seven (7) days to return the product unused, not tampered with and must be in its original package. You can be charged up to a 10% restocking fee, no more! If you cancel a layaway transaction, you are entitled to be refunded 75% of your down payment.
How to make a complaint to the CCAC If you feel disenfranchised by the purchase of a good or service and you wish to seek some form of redress, the following process should be followed: Before making a complaint to the Commission. 1. Talk to the business that you are having an issue with, ensuring that you get the names of the individuals you speak with. 2. Be sure to speak politely and clearly explaining what the problem is, and how you would like the business to resolve it. 3. If both parties cannot come to a mutually agreeable solution, then you should seek redress with the Consumer Affairs Unit of the Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission.
Note to Students Consumer protection is everybody's business! An educated consumer is an empowered consumer. Know your rights. If you have any questions or you need additional information on the role of the Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission, feel free to contact us, we will be happy to assist you. You can also visit our Facebook page to keep updated.
Making the complaint 1. Make contact with the Commission and speak with a consumer affairs representative. Be prepared to present a written statement of the problem. A complaint can only be considered if it is in writing. 2. Bring proof of transaction, i.e., receipts, contracts, notes, etc. 3. Bring any other information that will be helpful in explaining your case, pictures, videos, etc. Please note that not every disagreement is an infringement of the law. The Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission operates objectively ensuring that there is a level playing ďŹ eld between both consumers and suppliers.
How to Contact the Commission The Commission is located at: National Exhibition Site Sophia Georgetown. Opening hours: Monday- Thursday: 8 am -4:30pm Fridays 8 am- 3:30 pm.
Telephone Numbers: 219-4410-3
Facebook: Guyana Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission
The Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission (CCAC)