“Stiffer enforcement including prosecution where necessary” will be the consequence for businesses which intentionally breach consumer laws. This is the warning today from Director of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA), Terry Bascombe.
He was at the time giving a presentation on “Trading Standards Enforcement” at the Savannah Hotel.
He noted that his department was “very lenient in dealing with the many breaches and mal-practices,” and in most cases worked with businesses to assist them in rectifying short-comings. However, be cautioned that his department was not ruling out prosecution in cases where breaches were seen as deliberate.
“I think we have to. There is only so much we can do in terms of preparing persons to do what they have to do. At the end of the day, legislation is there and it has to be enforced,” he said.
Mr. Bascombe noted that: “there will be persons who mean well, but do not know and they would need guidance which we currently provide at the DCCA. I don’t think the first option would be to put someone in court”.
The Director said he was cognisant of the Ministry’s responsibility for business development and the importance of maintaining a reasonable balance between consumer protection and business development.
“In some cases, we were stern and we had to be because at the end of the day the line has to be drawn. You cannot keep returning continuously asking for breaks,” he said.