Be warned, local online shopping could be dangerous to your pocket. And, the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is urging Jamaicans to take certain precautions when making purchases from local online vendors, who do not have a store-front.
Director of Communications at the agency Latoya Halstead says consumers should not make full payment for an item before delivery.
“I would recommend cash on delivery because these are hard times and people will find any way to get your hard-earned money or I would advise making a deposit,” she said. Ms Halstead was addressing a JIS Think Tank recently. “In conducting a transaction like that, we are also suggesting that you set up a meeting point at a public place such as a police station, have friends with you if possible and the same goes for the vendors. So make sure you are protected on either side,” she added.
Ms. Halstead is also encouraging consumers to inspect the item purchased as soon as they have it in hand.
“Ensure that what you are purchasing is what you ordered because you don’t want, in the New Year, to decide you don’t want it anymore. All sales are final unless you have an issue, that is, if something is wrong with the item,” she pointed out.
Meanwhile, Ms. Halstead is advising merchants to set realistic delivery timelines with consumers.
She said that failure to make deliveries within an agreed time period, without a reasonable excuse for the delay, could result in a fine of up to $2 million under the Consumer Protection Act
“They are promising curb-side delivery but…be careful about the promises you make. If you know that you can’t make a delivery, don’t tell the consumer that you can because there are consequences,” she cautioned.
The CAC is the national agency responsible for consumer advocacy. For further information, persons can call 876-906-5425 or email [email protected]