Bureau of Standards meets the public on World Consumer Rights Day

By Benjamin Flowers

To commemorate World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD), the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) held a three-day public awareness drive, in three districts.

The BBS began its tour on Tuesday, visiting Queen Elizabeth Park Orange Walk, on the actual celebration of WCRD, the bureau headed to the Battle field Park in Belize City, and ended on Thursday at the Central Park in Punta Gorda Town.

Apart from collaborating with organizations such as banks and phone companies, the BBS hosted its own information booth, where it disseminated information about consumer rights, and answered questions on the work that it does.
Consumer Protection Liaison Officer for the BBS, Rodolfo Gutierrez, explained that the public has eight fundamental rights as a consumer, that all goods and service providers must respect. Those rights include: the right to satisfaction of basic needs, the right to safety, the right to choose, the right to be heard, the right to redress, the right to consumer education, and the right to a healthy environments.

He encouraged members of the public who feel they were treated unfairly at a business establishment, to call the BBS to see how the bureau can assist them. Gutierrez said that this year’s Consumer Right day is being celebrated under the global theme, “Building a digital world consumers can trust.”

“There’s no clear cut redress mechanism for people that do online transactions,” Gutierrez said. “There needs to be better systems to ensure that customers are satisfied and adequate redress are provided.”

According to information available at the bureau’s booth, digital transactions accounted for 7.4 percent of total worldwide sales. The figure represented around US$1.55 trillion. In Belize, the number of online transactions are slowly, but steadily increasing; however, the country has no legislation governing these cyber transactions.

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