Developing a More Educated, Better Informed Consumer
Consumer Rights Protection
In order for businesses to strive and to remain viable, they need consumers to consistently patronize their products and services. Driven by the objective to increase revenue, on occasion some businesses may practice dishonest measures that serve to disadvantage consumers in the acquisition of goods and service. Despite the fact that this practice is both unethical and illegal; this situation continues to happen in The Bahamas and the world at large.
In order to prevent and curtail businesses from taking advantage of the vulnerability of the buying public, a number of consumer protection laws, Acts and policies were established in the Bahamas. These laws ensure that consumer rights are protected and also serve to safeguard the quality of the goods and services sold to consumers. As a result products and services delivery in The Bahamas are now held to a specified standard.
These laws aid to promote fair competition among enterprises; thus inducing the desired culture of minimizing and eliminating fraudulent business practices such as the falsification of product information in order to gain advantage over a competitor. Through the consistent work of the CPC, companies are now obligated to develop and employ a sense of accountability and ownership for the merchandise they put on the market.
How Consumer Rights Are Violated in The Bahamas?
There are a number of instances all over the world demonstrating blatant violation of consumer rights. The situation in Bahamas is no different. Despite the ratification of the Consumer Protection Act of 2006, cases of customers being disadvantaged by avaricious businesses are still prevalent. Below are some of the most common and notable violations:
- Hidden Charges: Have you experienced being billed by banks, credit card companies, and credit corporations for substantially more than what you were expecting to pay? Hidden charges blow up your monthly fees. The sad part is that these charges are practically never adequately explained to customers. This practice is a clear violation of your rights as a consumer and the Consumer Protection Act of 2006.
- Consumer Deception: Sometimes businesses deceive the public by exaggerating the features of their products in an effort to boost sales, leaving the buyer bewildered and often with no recourse after purchase. Have you tried ordering burger in a fast food chain ending up receiving a sandwich that is literally half the size of what you saw in the ad? This is a classic case of consumer deception and one of the most common forms of consumer rights violation practices.
- Overpricing: Laws against overpricing protect consumers from unfair or deceptive practices such as price gouging (the illegal practice of spiking prices of goods and services to a highly unreasonable or unfair level). This practice, which often occurs after or during a calamity such as a natural disaster or hurricane, is considered to be very exploitative and unethical.
- Sanitation Issues: Consumers are fond of purchasing goods that are packed and pre-prepared. The manner of preparing these commodities is naturally beyond our knowledge. Some companies take advantage of this fact, putting the lowest regard to sanitation practices during the preparation, production and distribution of products.
As a consumer, it is important that you know your rights. The Consumer Protection Act of 2006 is designed to safe-guard and enforce your rights. It is time to harness the provisions of this law in order to put an end to the greedy abuses of enterprises and to effectively empower and to educate Bahamian consumers of their legal rights as consumers.
If you feel that your rights as a consumer have been violated tell us your story, we are here to help