No legislation in place to protect online shoppers

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(Image credit mybroadband)

Although the number of persons now rushing to the online markets have increased significantly in Guyana, the country is still dragging behind as it lacks laws to protect such customers.

This was related by the Public Relations Officer of the Guyana Consumer and Competition Affairs Commission (CCAC), Allison Parker during an interview on Tuesday.

As pointed out by her, the Consumer Affairs Act only provides guidelines for electronic sale transactions locally.

This means that persons who source items online from overseas suppliers have no rights if an item arrives and does not meet the specification.

CCAC said “The Consumer Affairs Act does not provide jurisdiction for cross border e-commerce”.

While this is the harsh truth, the Consumer body noted that at the third session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy a decision was made to extend the mandate to include a Working Group on Consumer Protection on e-Commerce (WGE).

The WGE is tasked with the responsibility of recommending policy options for consumer protection authorities of member states, in light of its guidelines.

Its mandate was given by the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy in the second session held in July 2018 in Geneva.

The three main areas of focus for the group will be on tackling misleading and unfair business practices, consumer education and business guidance and most importantly, international cooperation in cross-border cases.

CCAC has received a total of 273 complaints from customers who were unable to get value for their dollar.

These complaints are valued at $86,156,466.

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