Sun | Aug 20, 2017

The prudent shopper

Published:Monday | December 28, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Shoppers grabbing Christmas deals.

As the year winds down, holiday spending usually ramps up, but when the New Year dawns, buyer's remorse may set in or holiday purchases have to be returned or exchanged for various reasons.

Below are useful tips to bear in mind when making purchases.

1. Ensure that all information regarding the item is available at the time of purchase

A consumer should demand information about:

- The origin of item

- The price in Jamaican dollars

- Directions for care and proper use

- Instructions for assembly and installation

- Weight

- Size

2. Demand and retain proof of purchase

A consumer is entitled to a receipt stating the description of the items purchased and the date of purchase. If a merchant or provider of goods refuses to provide a receipt, he may be liable to pay a fine not exceeding $50,000 or be imprisoned for up to 30 days; or to both such fine and imprisonment.

3. Warranties

All new and used goods (and all goods that have been repaired) attract warranties. If no warranty is expressly stated, a warranty of six months on parts and labour will be applied, subject to the standard conditions of warranties.

4. Defective goods

If goods purchased are defective or materially different from what you intended to purchase, they may be returned to the provider, who must immediately offer compensation for the value of the goods. The provider and the consumer may agree on such amount of compensation as they may choose.

In order to qualify for a refund, it must be shown that the goods are in the condition in which they were at the time of purchase, save for such minimal damage as may arise from exposure during the normal course of use.

A consumer is not entitled to a refund if he gets the goods requested, but simply decides that he no longer wants them.

5. Damaged goods

Where goods sold to a consumer fail to provide the benefit and uninterrupted enjoyment for which they were intended, and the failure is determined not to be due to apparent negligence or abuse by the consumer within the warranty period, the provider shall be responsible for its replacement or repair at no cost to the consumer. The provider's contravention of this provision could lead to a fine of two hundred thousand dollars.

I wish all Flair readers a happy holiday season.

• Sherry-Ann McGregor is a partner and mediator in the firm of Nunes, Scholefield, DeLeon & Co. Please send questions and comments to lawsofeve@gmail.com or lifestyle@gleanerjm.com.