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Be vigilant when buying electrical appliances, CAC urges consumers

Saturday, December 16, 2017

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The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is advising consumers to exercise caution when purchasing electrical equipment and appliances during the Christmas season.

The warning comes against the background of an increase in complaints for the first six months of the 2017/18 financial year over the same period in 2016/17.

Consumers made 196 complaints relating to electrical equipment and appliances from April to September, which was the most complaints received for the period at 34.81 per cent.

For the first six months of 2016/17, there were 179 complaints from consumers relating to electrical equipment and appliances, which was 29.44 per cent of all complaints to the CAC.

Communication specialist at the CAC, Dorothy Campbell, is urging shoppers to read all labels and manuals carefully when buying such equipment.

“Test all appliances in the store, if possible, ensure that you get a guarantee or warranty for all appliances. If installation is required, it is best to utilise the services of a store or certified electrician,” she said at a JIS Think Tank on Tuesday.

“It makes no sense to set up the device by yourself, because if the product goes bad, you will have a hard time convincing the store manager that you were not the one to break the equipment, or even prove that it was defective,” Campbell noted.

She also encouraged consumers to observe the manufacturer's instructions in the use of any product purchased, as abuse or misuse may void the warranty coverage.

She further urged shoppers to enquire about the return policy, warranty and installation, noting that warranty on electrical equipment and appliances should be six months or more.

Importantly, she said, consumers must ensure that they receive a receipt for purchases made.

“Where the receipts are not clear, consumers should request a written one or find another store to make the purchase,” she said.

“You must get a receipt and look if General Consumption Tax (GCT) information is missing,” she further noted.

Campbell also urged shoppers to adhere to the tips provided in order to ensure the safety of themselves and their families.

“There are businesses that are selling inferior or unsafe appliances that can lead to fires and other unsafe happenings,” she pointed out.

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