Used car buyers could be vulnerable, consumers body officer says

- businesses to face prosecution over ‘goods not returnable’

The change in official policy position on used car imports some years ago may have created a window of vulnerability that increases the risk of consumers being sold defective vehicles, Consumer Affairs Officer at the Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission Clifford Zammett has said.

“In a sense some consumers may now be more vulnerable,” he told this newspaper.

Zammett explained that during the 1990s, there had been an adjustment to the regulations governing the importation of vehicles into the country. He explained that local motor dealers had lobbied government and that the lobby had resulted in a change in the regulations that allowed for the importation of used cars, as long as they complied with a certain age limit.

“Before that there was a specific requirement that cars be reconditioned so that what the change in the regulations meant was

How risky is a used car purchase?
How risky is a used car purchase?

that some of the cars that started to be imported had been brought here most likely than not without any reconditioning work being done on them,” Zammett said. He said there were current cases in which owners were now required to effect remedial work to cars much sooner after purchase.

Stabroek Business last week published an article following queries from consumers over what they said was ineffective representation in the face of supplier insistence on applying illegal ‘goods not returnable’

stipulations on damaged or defective purchases. While Zammett conceded that the commission’s sole office in Sophia was insufficient to cover the entire country he said visits to areas outside Georgetown had provided the commission “with a better sense of the need to take its services further afield. He said plans were in train to establish offices outside Georgetown and named Lethem as one of the areas where an office could be set up, “possibly in the near future.”

Lethem had been identified, he said because very often consumers would only discover defects in commodities bought in Georgetown after they had transported those goods to the interior. “Once that happens the issue of how to get that defective item back to the city arises,” Zammett said.

Zammett said that it was “disappointing” that some suppliers had not responded to the earlier approach by government to use “moral suasion to persuade some businesses of the importance of the rights of consumers. There used to be a time when there were punitive laws. It was left up to the business houses to accept and/or make restitution. Unfortunately, laws have had to be put in place to seek to ensure that customer rights are not trampled upon.”

Meanwhile, Zammett told Stabroek Business that the Competition & Consumer Affairs Commission “takes with the utmost seriousness its commitment to consumers who are being short-changed by rogue suppliers. It is true that there are some pending complaints but there is reason to believe that some prosecutions are imminent. Perhaps when some of the delinquents are made to feel the full force of the law that may serve as an example to others,” he added.

Latest in Business

Guyana Metal Recyclers Association President Michael Benjamin

Metal exporters want urgent presidential intervention

– business ministry working on new procedures Piqued over what it says has been the suspension—without either notice or official notification—of the scrap metal trade by the APNU+AFC administration since June last year, the Guyana Metal Recyclers Association (GMRA) the official umbrella body for local exporters has told the Stabroek Business that the protracted inability of businesses to ply their trade is wreaking havoc with the industry and denying legitimate businessmen the right to earn a living.

The Far Rockaway Hotel

Kwakwani $$$M hotel investment seeks to breathe new life into community

Gavin August may well be unique in the extent of his financial investment in Kwakwani: an estimated $50 million to create a 12-room hotel, which he hopes will pay him back down the road, when the fortunes of the community change.

default placeholder

Does crowdfunding have the power to grow Caribbean economies? (Part 2)

By A Cecile Watson   A Cecile Watson is the founder of She is a former senior regional banker, an international speaker, a certified financial education instructor and the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Ambassador Regional Leader for the Caribbean.

20160624gold prices June24

Kitco Market

Gold Prices for the three day period ending Thursday  June 23, 2016Kitco is a Canadian company that buys and sells precious metals such as gold, copper and silver.

IDB Chief Economist Jose Juan Ruiz

Caribbean facing savings crisis – IDB

A new study released earlier this month by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has put countries in Latin America and the Caribbean on notice that they are confronted with a savings crisis that might do damage to their economies in the years ahead.


Prices Prepared by the Guyana Marketing Corporation

(Prepared by the Guyana Marketing Corporation and published by Stabroek Business as a public service)*Prices only represent the average Wholesale Farmgate and Retail Prices at the above mentioned markets and are NOT prices set by the Guyana Marketing Corporation or Ministry of Agriculture.

Aunty Picky

Placing a premium on education: Annandale businesses support growth of secondary school

As the story goes, the name Annandale is said to honour the two daughters of the proprietor of the tract of land to which the name was given.

Talks underway: The respective delegations from the Guyana Public Service Union and the Government of Guyana face each other on Wednesday at the start of what could be the country’s most important industrial relations encounter since the Armstrong Arbitration Commission.

GPSU, gov’t pay hike talks opening ‘a transformational moment’ – Yarde

The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) is treating the current public service wages and salaries negotiations with the Government of Guyana as “the start of a process aimed at bettering the lot of public servants in a manner that goes way beyond the monetary benefits which we expect will derive from the process,” its President Patrick Yarde has said.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: