Consumer Authority cracks down on fake bargains, New Year discount illusions


By Hasitha Ayeshmantha

The Sri Lanka Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) detected 5500 trade-linked malpractices from January 1 to April 10 which included clothes bargains carrying craftily-engineered discount illusions, a Ministry of Industry and Commerce source said.

Our sources also stated that over 30 textile outlets were detected by the CAA, while selling 'outdated clothes' to the customers claiming that they are the latest clothing trends. They stated that it is against the Consumer Affairs Authority code of conduct to misguide the customers in any sort of way.

It was also revealed that 1500 out of the above mentioned detections were recorded within the first 10 days of April.

These sources said that 'this record number of detections' comes in the wake of Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen strengthening the Consumer Affairs Authority. They also suggested that with the pressures of the season, these detections had gone up significantly.

As a new step taken by the Authority, a hotline (1977) has been established to take in complaints and tips regarding businesses which are violating the Authority's code of conduct. Any concerned citizens who has information regarding malpractices in business could direct their complaints to the hotline (1977), after which a detection team from the Authority will investigate the relevant place of business.

Fines of Rs. 10,000 for single owner businesses and fines up to Rs. 100,000 will be charged on establishments with joint ownership, if they are detected.

Our ministry sources urged the public to be on alert regarding any consumer related businesses who are violating the code of conduct in any way and to complain immediately on the hotline so that the Authority can intervene. They added that necessary legal measures will be taken against the 5500 detections which were made by the Authority and that certain cases were already before court.

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