The Director of Consumer Affairs Guillaume Simon says consumers seeking redress should not try to bully the shop owner.
He made the comments in a release from his department.
“In attempting to get redress; you should not be abrasive; you should not try to bully the shop owner; you should be polite – you should be calm in obtaining your redress,” Simon observed.
He spoke in the context of assertions that the customer is always right.
The Consumer Affairs Department says there are reports of difficult consumers and increasing disputes between buyer and seller.
According to the department, some business owners have said that although they appreciate and support consumers, people are taking advantage of the customer service provided.
“The consumer has responsibilities and they need to exercise those responsibilities. So in transacting business the consumer needs to always transact in a businesslike manner. You have to be polite; you have to be assertive; you have to know what you want,” Simon observed.
A former President of the National Consumers Association, Hubert James, agrees.
“There’s nothing in the world, or any product or any business that can survive without customers,” he declared.
But James made clear that this does not mean that the customer does not have responsibilities.
“Not because they are right, they can walk into your business and just say anything or do anything they want. There is a responsibility on the part of the customers to ensure that their rights are being protected,” the former NCA President observed.
The Consumer Affairs Department has urged consumers to examine goods thoroughly before buying and read instructions, manuals and warranties.
“Ask questions, get as much information about an item before making a purchase. If these vital steps are followed there will be no doubt that the buying experience for the customer and seller will significantly improve,” the department says.