We've all noticed those "NO REFUND, NO EXCHANGE" signs in some stores in T&T. Or, we've seen it printed on the receipts we've received after we've made a purchase. But have you ever wondered if these policies are legal?
Despite seeing these policies from time to time, "NO REFUND, NO EXCHANGE" policies are actually ILLEGAL in T&T.
In the year 2000, the Minister of Trade and Industry and Consumer Affairs made an Order under section 16 of the Consumer Protection and Safety Act called "the Adverse Trade Practices Order 2000"
Under the Order, it is an offence for a person who supplies or offers goods or services to consumers, in the course of business, to display on business premises, notices containing statements which are invalid by law. Examples of such statements are:
These statements cannot be displayed or published in notices, advertisements, receipts, bills or other documents, which are given to consumers.
Number 3 and 4 in the Order states:
"3. A person shall not, in the course of a business, display, at any place where consumer transactions are effected, a notice containing statements which are invalid by virtue of-
(a) section 9 of the Unfair Contract Terms Act, 1985; or
(b) any other written law.
4. A person shall not in the course of a business-
(b) publish, or cause to be published;
(c) supply; or
at any place where consumer transactions are effected, any advertisement, receipts, bills or other documents containing, or any goods bearing, or goods in a container bearing, any statement which is invalid by virtue of the Unfair Contract Terms Act, 1985 or any other written law."
Any person who contravenes a prohibition imposed by the Order or does not comply with a requirement imposed by this Order is liable:
Under the Unfair Contract Terms Act:
If you believe you have been the victim of an unfair or deceptive trade practice, you can contact the Consumer Affairs Division of the Ministry of Trade and Industry for assistance in rectifying your issue.
Important Notice: This post does not constitute or provide legal advice. Always consult with a suitably qualified attorney-at-law on any legal problem or issue.
Law For All is managed by the Aurora Chambers Legal Practice.
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