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National Consumers Association Urges More Action Against Price Gouging

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The President of Saint Lucia’s National Consumers Association, Dr. Thecla Fitz-Lewis, speaking on behalf of consumers, has urged more action against price gouging.

“From a consumer perspective, and I speak for consumers who repeatedly have expressed several scenarios to us where they have experienced price gouging first-hand, I do not believe enough is done about it,” Fitz-Lewis told St. Lucia Times.

“I do not believe we have any gatekeepers, and if we do, they are not monitoring to ensure that price gouging does not happen,” the NCA President asserted.

Fitz-Lewis, a business owner, acknowledged that certain issues could cause a merchant to implement a price increase.

She explained that those issues included logistics.

“We all know about the shipping logistics and what’s happening in the Panama Canal regarding containers. But despite that, when you look at some of the prices, especially items you can get locally or from different suppliers locally, you see exponential increases compared to what the other one has,” Fitz-Lewis observed.

“While we can argue that you have to take out elements of cost to bring this item, whether food or service to a consumer, some of these costs cannot be justified,” the NCP President declared.

She said systems must be in place to address price gouging.

Fitz-Lewis said Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre had announced the removal of taxes on sanitary napkins, but some outlets did not reflect a price change.

“As a result an Act had to be passed in parliament to empower Consumer Affairs Officers to ensure this does not exist, where they can take corrective action against these retailers who continue to do these unethical things,” she told St. Lucia Times.

The NCA President would like to see Consumer Affairs Officers checking on profit margins at commercial establishments.

“We should know an item’s cost price, the CIF value. I think if we take proper measures like these, we will be able to identify price gouging,” Fitz-Lewis stated.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. There is no price control people doing their jobs at big supermarkets. We need cases brought before the courts against them. The officers need to gather evidence, videos, pictures ect.. of the items… And the public should be invited to attend the court cases against Massy store who had been doing this long before COVID.

  2. We all know where to start cleaning shop. MASSY MASSY MASSY MASSY. what’s amazing is that you go around and find the “wivahdez” as we call them, selling the same items and most times even better quality along the roadside at a much cheaper price and still make a satisfactory profit yet those Big name supermarkets charge us 4 arms and 5 legs. We used to brag at one time how affordable everything was in St. Lucia compared to the other islands. Now those same islands sell their goods cheaper. St.kitts for example

  3. God bless you and good morning. What is the Association doing about the high financial fees being charged by Financial Institutions? I know of a service that banks are charged 25 cents per transaction, by the provider of that electronic service. But banks are charging customers as much as $70.00 for that service.

  4. What evidence is there that Massy Stores is price gouging? I think many Lucians are just irresponsible with their money. The majority of what is on the shelf is imported for which there is little control of the prices the products are to be purchased. At the end of the day, the supermarket is a private business with the purpose to make a profit. You have to buy the expensive Seabell, buy the cheaper one…..and thats the problem… Lucians want everything free or at very low cost.

  5. We can bark all we want KFC is raking in millions, domino’s, the Asian restaurants the clothing stores not forgttiythe alcohol and fete industry why only the supermarkets are the only victim stupid Lucian’s

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