Watch your spending during Diwali30/10/2012 16:09
With enticing advertisements and promotions for the Diwali well underway, consumers are advised to be practical when shopping.
With a wide variety of goods to choose from, consumers will be tempted to purchase items that they may not need. The Council therefore advises consumers to be mindful of their budget and ability to spend.
The Council would like to see consumers exercising their rights and responsibilities while shopping. Having a planned shopping list avoids unnecessary spending and helps one to stay within the allocated budget.
In the hype of shopping for clothes, food, gifts, firecrackers or decorations, consumers often fail to exercise their consumer responsibility to choose products carefully and spend wisely. Consequently, consumers are enticed into purchasing products that may be a bargain but of poor quality, old stock, expired or defective or simply not needed. The Council has noted that people often fail to ask necessary questions such as product guarantees, after sales service, availability of spare parts and return policy.
Consumers are often distracted by the festive atmosphere where misreading advertisements are very common. The Council advises consumers to read and understand sales advertisement, product information and promotions that are being presented to them before signing any document or parting with their hard earned money. The Council urges consumers to be proactive in this area and question the traders when need be.
Consumers are urged to demand for pre-contractual disclosure if items are bought on credit and receipts for all their purchases. Many traders often fail to comply with this and it becomes very difficult for consumers seeking redress later.
Meanwhile, the Council is also warning retailers not to breach any laws on the sale of firecrackers. The Council through its past experience has seen shops failing to put up notices informing consumers that firecrackers would only be sold to people over 18-years-old and children wanting to buy firecrackers should be accompanied by an adult. This must be adhered to.