A disgruntled customer has written the National Consumers Association (NCA) regarding an issue, where she purchased a packaged product and found fungus on the item.
In a letter dated Friday, February 5, 2016 and addressed to the NCA, Shakiner Johnny said she went into a Soufriere store and bought a Minute Bite Cake, which had fungus.
“It was only when I took a bite, and chewed on it, that I became suspicious of the fact the cake did not at all taste the way it usually does. This is when I ventured to open fully, the wrapper it was encased in, and break the cake in half; only to my disgust, I realized that the snack had been infected with fungus,” she explained.
While Johnny has not contacted the store at Soufriere, she did attempt to contact the management of the manufacturer of the snack, who agreed to compensate her for the purchase.
However, they have concluded that there were no fungi found in any of their products and it may have been a case where she purchased an expired product. But the package bore no expiry date.
“Not too long ago, I purchased a Vita Malt. After having ingested the drink in its entirety, I realized that the bottle had a thick layer of God-knows-what towards the bottom,” she added.
After taking the bottle to a recommended place in Vieux Fort for “testing,” it was concluded that there were only malt remains at the bottom of the bottle, which was a normal after the product remains in a position for a very long time. She was, however, not allowed to have the bottle back.
“Consumers in St. Lucia, like no every other consumer, need to be protected. Store proprietors and product manufacturers need to be engaged in using stringent quality control assessments,” she argued.
Johnny also believes that consumers have a right to be treated with all respect and fairness, as they are the patrons who keep afloat these businesses, which according to her, continuously provide the consuming public with second grade products and in some cases poor services.
“I am very disgusted, disgruntled and perturbed to my gut by this experience, she concluded.
The concerned consumer is seeking the NCA’s help in resolving this issue and to ensure that it doesn’t happen to anyone in Soufriere or any other consumer on the island.
The new Consumer Protection Bill was recently presented for reading in Parliament and debate in the Senate. This new bill is expected to address the many issues facing consumers here.