Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 13, 2019 (SKNIS): The Department of Consumer Affairs, as part of its week of activities to celebrate World Consumer Day 2019, on March 15, hosted a number of talks, from March 12 to 13, in educational institutions and the manufacturing sector.
The visits also formed part of the department’s Education Programme, which has been in place for four years as the department works to fulfill its mandate to inform, educate and empower consumers to protect themselves in the marketplace.
It is important to instill issues of consumer protection at an early age and not focus solely on adults, said Director of Consumer Affairs, Paul Queeley, during an interview with SKNIS, while explaining the rationale behind visiting schools.
“By going to the schools, we tell them about various consumer issues such as, the rights and responsibilities of consumers, how the Consumer Act can protect them, what to look for when they are purchasing items, and expiration dates,” said Mr. Queeley.
The director noted that children are consumers as well and that they should not be taken advantage of in the marketplace. He added that by teaching consumer rights, the students would help to impart the knowledge to their parents.
“Even when purchasing items like books, bags and different items for the new school year, although they might not be spending the money directly, they have a direct influence on their parents to purchase what it is they want,” he said. “So it will be best if they have an idea of what to actually look at in terms of purchasing these items.”
As with the schools, the department visited various manufacturing agencies. The workers were taught what to look for when purchasing items and how to spend their money wisely to safeguard what they have.
The Consumer Affairs Department is located at the Bladen’s Commercial Complex in the NAGICO Building. If persons have any queries about their purchases they can visit the department and officials will investigate their claim to verify if the business is indeed selling a faulty item. If the business is at fault, they should receive a refund or be able to exchange the item.