As more Guyanese companies and suppliers facilitate online shopping with the current COVID-19 measures in place, the Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission (CCAC) is advising those companies that domestic online sales are subject to the Consumer Affairs Act.
The Consumer Affairs body is in receipt of complaints from online shoppers and in a statement today, the Commission reminded that return and refund policies, warranties, and policies in regard to cancellations are still subject to the provisions of the Consumer Affairs Act.
According to the Consumer Affairs Commission, suppliers will still be held accountable for breaches of the Consumer Affairs Law.
It said considering the new modes of transactions, considerations would have to be put in place by the Commission for both consumers and suppliers so that no one is disadvantaged.
The Commission said customers should still be afforded a period of seven working days to return an item for an exchange or for a refund if the item is no longer wanted.
It is the responsibility of the consumer to ensure that the item is returned according to the stipulations of the Act which would include the item being in its original package, and not used or damaged.
The supplier can charge up to 10% as a restocking fee and the return cost would have to be covered by the consumer in this case.
The Commission said if the item is defective the cost of the return should be bourne by the supplier upon establishing that the item was defective. If the payment was a lay-a-way, the Consumers Affairs Act allows 75% refunds to consumers.
The Commission is also imploring suppliers not to be scrupulous at this time to consumers who have booked events which had to be canceled due to the pandemic. Suppliers are asked to offer consumers their correct refunds.
The Commission said it continues to appeal to suppliers to put their customers over excessive profit noting that it is morally wrong to take advantage of consumers during any national emergency, in this case, that of a public health crisis.