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Over 2,000 seek advice of the FTC

During the April 2012 to March 31, 2013 period, 2,237 consumers contacted the

Fair Trading Commission seeking advice on a range of issues relating to businesses and

alleging unfair trade practices.

According to the FTC’s annual report for the period under review, of that number

1,987 were telephone queries, while 250 were from consumers who visited the

commission. Of the total number 32 were written queries. Meanwhile, 738 consumers

were directed to the office of public counsel. During the months of November 2012

and March 2013 the commission received more calls when compared to the 2011 to

2012 period. There were also significantly more walk-ins for April 2012, January and

March 2013 when compared to the 2011 to 2012 period.

For the year under review 13 new complaints were lodged and six complaints

alleging unfair trade practices were brought forward from the 2011 to 2012 period.

Complaints received by the FTC included exclusive dealing, predatory pricing,

discriminatory pricing, refusal to deal, among other anti-competitive conducts.

Although the majority of telephone queries were related to Cable & Wireless

[now trading as LIME (Barbados)], regulated land line telephone service, officers of the

commission also responded to and where possible, gave advice on matters related to

telecommunications services, including mobile and Internet, which are not regulated by

the commission.

“The new complaints represents a 50 per cent decrease over the number of

complaints in 2011 to 2012. The commission attributes this reduction to a proactive

approach to identifying issues and addressing them before they impact adversely on

consumer welfare and to its sustained intensive educational programme,” it said.

The FTC said consumers were better informed and they were making

wiser choices.

“All complaints received in this reporting period have been resolved including the

six complaints which were brought forward from the 2011 to 2012 period,”

said the FTC. (MM)


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