A Global Call for a Fairer Digital Marketplace

PRESS RELEASE – TODAY (Thursday March 15, 2018) the Consumer Affairs Division of the Department of Commerce, International Trade, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs in collaboration with the National Consumers Association (St. Lucia) Inc. will be commemorating World Consumer Rights Day by joining a global campaign for a ‘Fairer Digital Marketplace’.

According to Consumers International, the global consumer watchdog, “e-commerce, or buying products and services online, has transformed the way we consume. Consumers with a connected device and a payment method can buy anything from music to booking transport and accommodation; or buying tickets to events. This new way to trade has opened up a vast array of choice for consumers and enhanced convenience on a scale never seen before.”

“However, along with these benefits, e-commerce raises key issues for consumers such as: access to fair and secure markets, being sure there is redress when things go wrong, and being exposed to scams and fraud.”

In St. Lucia, while there has been a proliferation in online trading companies and online transactions, there has also been numerous complaints from consumers about the unfair practices of some of the key providers of digital services.

For World Consumer Rights Day this year, the Consumer Affairs Division in collaboration with the National Consumers Association will be raising the awareness of unfair, unsafe and unethical practices to ensure all consumers are treated safely, fairly and honestly.

As the Division charged with the responsibility to educate and protect the welfare of consumers, the Consumer Affairs Division will be joining the campaign with a number of planned activities aimed at informing, educating and increasing the awareness of consumers. These activities include:

– An address to the nation by the Hon. Bradley Felix, Minister responsible for Consumer Affairs – March 15th
– A Round the island Roving Road Show on March 15th
– A text blast to mobile subscribers on March 15th
– Information dissemination via news articles and brochures

The Consumer Affairs Division urges all consumers to continue to exercise vigilance when shopping online, check statements regularly, use strong passwords, install an anti-virus on your computer or other device, avoid shopping using internet hot spots or public Wi-Fi.

Consumers, the power is in your hands take charge, shop wisely.

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