The National Consumers Association (NCA) will commence a nation-wide campaign in early March aimed at educating consumers and businesses about the new National Consumer Rights Bill.
The comprehensive legislation was read three times in the House of Assembly, after taking close to a decade to complete for presentation. It now heads to the Senate for approval on Thursday.
President of the NCA Trevor Albert told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in an interview on Tuesday (Feb.2) that the campaign will reach all pockets of society across Saint Lucia.
Albert revealed that the NCA is expected to receive funding from its parent organisation –Consumer International (CI) – to undertake the necessary education campaign here.
“We will reach the consumers through sub-groups such as: football associations, mothers and father groups, among others and they will educate the consumers,” he explained.
The NCA will be collaborating with the government in some instances but noted that the government will be engaged in a separate campaign through the Consumer Affairs Department.
“They will be collaborating with us and we will have some collaboration with them,” he added.
Albert told SNO that the NCA will also meet with several businesses to educate them on consumers’ rights which will hopefully encourage them to adapt more quickly to the new regulations.
“If the business have consumers that are satisfied with the quality and safety of their products, they will continue to buy and will come no matter what,” the NCA head stressed.
The NCA said it is thankful for all the work put into the bill, particularly those who pushed to see it become a reality including Commerce Minister Emma Hippolyte and Castries North MP Stephenson King.
The bill is expected to empower consumers to conduct business transactions with confidence, as consumers will be able to seek redress as prescribed in the legislation.
The new bill contains provisions that will seek to address many of the concerns consumers have voiced relating to consumer/supplier agreements and unfair contract terms, particularly matters relating to false or misleading representation and unfair or unjust transactions.