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What to do when making a cellular phone purchase Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 27 February 2014 00:00

Occasionally we purchase products that are defective and then go back to the store owner for redress but none is to come our way. This is especially troubling with cellular phones. These devices have become the center piece of our lives not only to communicate but to conduct bank transactions and to log into our documents in the ‘Cloud’.

It is estimated that in 2010 some 5.4 billion people owned a mobile phone; in 2011 it was 6 billion and in 2013 that figure rose to 6.8 billion. But what can we do with a phone that we have invested our hard earned money on and two weeks later we discover that it is faulty? It is a dilemma faced by many around the World and for this reason March 15, 2014 will be celebrated as “Fix Our Phone Rights!” under World Consumer Rights Day.

As Belize prepares to observe World Consumer Rights Day, workers from the Belize Bureau of Standards BBS launched their first mobile booth at the Cayo Welcome Center on Friday of last week. Samantha Budna Banner, who is a Consumer Protection and Education Officer, was along with other members of her team educating members of the public on their rights, particularly as it relates to purchasing a cellular phone. The BBS team also took the opportunity to conduct a survey to examine customer trends when purchasing the ubiquitous cell phone.

Samantha Banner  recommends that when purchasing a cell phone, a receipt and warranty should be obtained from the place of purchase. The BBS also recommends that the customer complains immediately in writing to the supplier when the goods is found to be defective, ensure that all receipts and other documents relating to the complaint are available and courteously make a complaint to store personnel. If these measures don’t work then the BBS further recommends that a call be made to its team members at 283-5587, 822-0446 or 822-0447.

“Consumers can call us, one of our Consumer Protection Officers will answer the call, we note the complaint…we would investigate on your behalf.” says Samantha Banner, who was meeting with Cayo residents last Friday.

Members of the Belize Bureau of Standards now travel to different parts of the country with the same liberating message as well as informing on the various other functions of the Organization which operates alongside the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion and Private Sector Development. A BBS mobile booth will be set up in Dangriga on February 27th in front of the Town Council. The team then continues to Punta Gorda on the following day at the Central Park. The Nationwide tour then takes them to Belize City on March 5th in front of Brodies Downtown, to Orange Walk on March 6th at the Queen Elizabeth Park, on March 7th in Corozal Town at the Bus Terminal and finally in Belmopan on March 14th at the Bus Terminal; just short of one day for the celebration of World Consumer Rights Day.

The BBS is a Government of Belize Department which was formed in 1992 by the Standards Act Chapter 295 of the Substantive Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2000-2003.  According to its website available at www.bbs.gov.bz, the Bureau is the national standards body responsible for the preparation, promotion and implementation of standards in relation to goods, services and processes. As a result the BBS is responsible for the administration of the Metrology Act, the Consumer Protection Unit and the Supplies Control Unit. The Metrology legislation gives the BBS responsibility for regulating all weighing and measuring devices for trade in Belize. While the Supplies Control Unit gives the Unit the responsibility of managing the import or export licensing regime and to monitor and enforce the price regulated goods. The Consumer Protection Unit; meanwhile seeks to be at the forefront in the interest of the health, safety and life of Belizean consumers. The Bureau operates on the third floor of the Diamonds Building on Constitution Drive in Belmopan.