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Consumer Affairs Department to Reveal Most Penalized Businesses

By on March 27, 2016

SAN JUAN – The chairman of the Senate Labor Relations, Consumer Affairs and Job Creation Committee, Luis Daniel Rivera Filomeno, will preside a public hearing Monday in which the Consumer Affairs Department (DACO by its Spanish acronym) will testify.

“This public hearing had been postponed to give the agency more time to prepare and is intended to inform our committee which companies receive the most fines for violations of the regulations that protect consumers,” the senator said in a statement Sunday.

The district of Carolina’s Rivera Filomeno explained the importance of knowing the “specifics” of companies that are violating consumer rights and to analyze whether regulations require revisions.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JULY 01:  Yudelkis Hernandez rings up a sale on July 1, 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The island's residents are dealing with increasing economic hardships and a financial crisis that has resulted in the government's $72 billion debt.  Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said in a speech recently  that the people will have to sacrifice and share in the responsibilities for pulling the island out of debt. Consumer tax on certain items has risen to 11.5 percent. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

“We want to know, for example, if it is true some companies prefer to pay fines because they find it more advantageous for them to break the law for certain periods in terms of sales they can make; if those fines end up being symbolic. DACO’s work is rather broad and covers retail sales, gasoline sales, medicine and special offers, among others. Part of the legislative duty is to ensure laws and regulations are adjusted to new market realities,” he said

The senator said he has received complaints from consumers about various establishments offering a price at the shelf that differs when scanned at checkout. His office has also received a large number of complaints regarding advertising shopper offers and the availability of items in stores. Early Bird sales are also analyzed as well as procedures to honor guarantees.

“In the same way there are merchants and companies with exemplary customer service, others are not and carry out all sorts of practices, such as violations to rule 7B-3 of the Regulation Against Deceptive Practices and Advertisements,” the senator stated. “In these cases, the issued fine can range between $400 and $10,000 and is based on a business’ recidivism.”

 

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