The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) continues to face an uphill battle in eliminating the use of blue dial scales by vendors across the country, noting that many sellers simply repurchase such devices even after they have been seized.
GNBS’ Communications Officer Bibi Khatoon explained that blue dial scales are not approved for use in commercial trade due to a number of issues.
“These scales are primarily designed for domestic (home) use and are not approved by the GNBS for use in commercial trade. They are not durable enough to withstand continuous usage on a daily basis and becomes inaccurate after a short period of use. The external structure of the scale quickly becomes corroded and is damaged easily, while the internal mechanism (spring) easily loses its elasticity and becomes faulty during continuous use, resulting in inaccurate measurements. When this occurs, customers can be short-changed,” Khatoon stated.
Even though the GNBS has rolled out several educational campaigns about the disadvantages of the scales, vendors still continue to use them in their trade. In fact, even after these scales would be seized from vendors, they would simply repurchase such devices.
“These scales are allowed into the country on the basis that they would be used for domestic proposes only. As such, they are currently still allowed into the country. Once encountered in the market places, the blue dial scales are seized by inspectors but due to its low cost, vendors continue to purchase them for use,” Khatoon explained.
As such, the work of the GNBS in this regard is continuous. GNBS’ Public Relations Officer Lloyd David had previously encouraged consumers to demand that items they purchase be weighed using approved weighing devices, which carry a verification seal or sticker.
But according to some vendors at the Vreed-en-Hoop market, many consumers prefer to use of the blue dial scales as the transaction is faster.
“Me rather this blue scale because it easier to sell with and faster to sell with, we don’t rob nobody with it. The other one that we had to buy, it very hard to use you got to keep setting the weight steady, you got to keep setting it steady and put on price and the customers can’t wait so long, them ah go away,” a vendor, who asked to remain anonymous, explained.
“If you put on a pound and it got a pound and two ounce on it, it gone show the two-ounce money as well and them [customers] nah want pay, them ah go way, you lose sales all with that thing,” the vendor further noted.
Other vendors in the area expressed similar concerns, with some saying that it is harder to use the scales approved by the GNBS.
The scales which are approved for trade include electronic scales, red equal arm scales, platform scales and the salter brand hanging dial scales. These devices should be weighing in metric qualities and verified by the GNBS. During the ongoing verification exercise, these scales are stamped by the GNBS to indicate that they are approved for use.