GNBS publishes new draft requirements for sale of cellphones for public scrutiny

The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) has published a draft local standard for cellular phone dealers which, under its labelling requirements, stipulates that cell phones being offered for sale “shall be labelled accordingly as used, refurbished or new.

While the current draft local standard must undergo a process of public review and comment and is subject to change the particular reference to the requirement that labelling include the condition of the phone seeks to eradicate a recurring controversy between vendors and purchasers. Not infrequently, it is difficult for the inexpert eye to make a definitive distinction between a new cell phone and a used one, a circumstance that has given rise to controversy associated with repairs and warranties.

20160617cell phonesThe draft standard issued by the GNBS defines a new cell phone as one that “has never been used or previously owned” while a used cell phone is defined as one that “was previously used…..has not been repaired and tested” and “inherits the functionality of the previous owner.” Refurbished products, the GNBS document says, “may be unused customer returns that are essentially ‘new items’ or they may be defective products that were returned under warranty and resold by the manufacturer after repairing the defects and tested to verify proper functionality.”

The draft document places the onus on vendors to ensure that refurbished cell phones offered for sale “be free from functional defects” and that they be sold “with the original charger and the receipt or any other related document that clearly states that the phone is refurbished.” It further states that a refurbished phone may not be sold in the original packaging and “shall have a minimum of six months warranty.” There is also the stipulation that cellphones sold to consumers be tested at the time of purchase and that consumers be “sensitized on the features of the phone and the correct manner of usage.”

Meanwhile, the draft document places the onus on importers and cell phone dealers to ensure that sales staff are properly trained and are competent to advise consumers when making purchases and that they remain capable of addressing consumer complaints relating to the quality of products offered for sale in the absence of the dealer.

The models of cellphone imported into Guyana for resale may be required to receive the relevant type approval from the National Frequency Management Unit.

The review and comment period for the draft requirements commenced on June 1 and concludes on July 30, 2016.

The GNBS’ draft document stipulates that the sale of cell phones must be attended by warranties which provide details of the conditions of warranty in compliance with the Consumer Affairs Act of 2012.


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