Puerto Rico Consumer Affairs Dept: ‘Cash only’ is prohibited
SAN JUAN – At a time when Puerto Rico is almost entirely without power and telecommunications have significant problems, Consumer Affairs (DACO by its Spanish acronym) Secretary Michael Pierluisi warned businesses that it is their “obligation” to provide more than one payment method to consumers, as established by law.
For businesses experiencing difficulty processing credit or debit cards, Pierluisi reminded businesses about other payment methods, such as checks or money orders, in order for consumers to have an additional payment option to cash.
“The regulation requiring two payment alternatives for commercial activities is in force. The emergency does not eliminate the obligation of businesses to provide two methods of payment. Of course the most practical method is cash, but given the telecommunications problems, processing debit or credit cards becomes virtually impossible,” Pierluisi said in a. “But there is also the check method and it is one they must start accepting now.”
The DACO secretary warned that inspectors are already working rigorously on implementing the agency’s orders and rulings.
One week after Hurricane María, Puerto Rico still has limited access to telecommunications, with the government saying only 27 percent of the service is available in the metropolitan area.
This has affected operations for banks and cooperatives islandwide, as well as ATMs. The problem is greater in southern and western Puerto Rico, where ATM service is almost nonexistent.
Meanwhile, the government ordered that prepared food sold in restaurants be exempt from the sales & use tax (IVU by its Spanish acronym) until Oct. 8.