Consumer bill finally on parliament’s agenda

| 25/01/2024 | 67 Comments
Cayman News Service, consumer protection

(CNS): Speaker of the House Sir Alden McLaughlin has notified MPs that the third meeting of the 2023-2024 session of parliament will start at 10:00am on Monday, 26 February. Because of the need to pass the 2024/2025 budget, MPs will be presented with several pieces of legislation at this first meeting of 2024 that weren’t addressed during the last meeting of 2023. While many of the bills relate to the financial sector, one piece of legislation has ordinary residents at its heart.

The Consumer Protection and Guarantees Bill, 2023 is a long-awaited law that should, for the first time here, give shoppers and people purchasing services a right of redress when things go wrong.

The proposed legislation states that it “aims to promote and advance the social and economic welfare of consumers through the protection of their rights and interests from fraud and unfair practices in relation to the purchase of products or services. Additionally, it establishes a Consumer Affairs Commission for the redressal of consumer complaints.”

The objective of the proposed law, which would apply to anyone engaged in a trade or business, is to establish a legal framework for the achievement and maintenance of a consumer market that is fair, efficient and responsible.

It aims to promote fair business practices and protect consumers from “unfair, unconscionable or otherwise improper trade practices and deceptive, misleading, unfair or fraudulent conduct”, among other things. The law is designed to improve consumer awareness and information and encourage responsible and informed consumer choice and behaviour. It will also provide an “accessible, effective and efficient system of redress for consumers”.

Although the bill was published in October last year, members of the public can still lobby their MPs to either support the legislation or suggest changes to improve the law.

Any new legislation that the government wants to pass during the next meeting of parliament, which is just a month away, must be gazetted by Friday. Government motions or private members’ motions must also be submitted to parliament by 5:00pm tomorrow.

According to a release from the parliament announcing this meeting, the government has already filed two motions with the clerk for the Business Committee’s review, including a “Motion to Establish a Fuel Review Select Committee” filed by Planning Minister Jay Ebanks.

If put onto an order paper and passed, the motion would result in only the second Select Committee in recent parliamentary history. The first was the Select Committee on the Gambling (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which ran into trouble almost from the start. When it was convened one year ago, MPs seemed unable to agree on a way forward, and CNS has been unable to confirm if the committee has met since.

The other government motion, filed by Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan, is calling for the issuance of a deed of indemnity to the Cayman Airways Board of Directors.

Officials from the parliament said that all of the documents, including the business paper, motions and bills, will be made available this week on the House of Parliament’s website.

The proceedings can be viewed on CIGTV and Radio Cayman. The public is also invited to view the proceedings live from the public gallery at the House of Parliament after signing in with security.


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Category: Laws, Politics

Comments (67)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This law MUJST apply to ALL providers of services for which there is a direct charge and receipt given, and all items of all types purchased.
    The law must apply to the C.I. Government and the statutory authorities and Cayman Airways as they provide paid services and/or goods. NO EXCEPTIONS!

    • Anonymous says:

      Power and light co. on the Brac raised their fuel factor on our bills, when in fact the price of Diesel went down by 75 cents. Any comment OFReg ???&

  2. Anonymous says:

    Consumer protections.

    Multiple former senior Boeing staffers – one of whom also worked for FAA – say they would NOT fly on killer 737 Max planes and that they’re urging their families to avoid them too

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13026801/Multiple-former-senior-Boeing-staffers-one-worked-FAA-say-NOT-fly-killer-737-Max-planes-theyre-urging-families-avoid-too.html

  3. Anonymous says:

    Government need to enforce the duty free i are passed on to consumers

  4. Anonymous says:

    At last!
    FINALLY!
    If passed as posted here in the CNS library, merchants on Cayman Brac will, among other things, be required by law to display prices for all merchandise, putting an end to frequent and unpleasant surprises at the checkout, or worse, when one gets home and checks the receipts. That is, IF your are fortunate to receive a receipt as the default mode of far too many many cashiers is to not to give the cash paying customer a receipt. A wise Bracker friend of mine warned my family and I long ago to be sure to get a receipt, and to comparison shop when on Cayman Brac.

    TOO MANY items at all the Brac merchants have no price affixed nor any price on the display or shelf. We have seen prices for the same item vary by as much as 50% among merchants on Cayman Brac. One particular place on Cayman Brac is breathtakingly lax about having prices on their merchandise. Many fellow visiting shoppers have aired to us the same complaint. In general all Brac merchants are lax about pricing items, but this place takes the cake. Perhaps one cannot blame them as, in general, their prices are often not something I would be proud to display if I were them. Some Brac grocers have NO prices at all displayed in regard to loose produce.

    We learned the hard way that one particular Brac retailer is notorious for being difficult about the return of merchandise. We were shocked when we learned of the exorbitant amount they charge as a “restocking” fee. They are also known for having obsolete prices affixed to some merchandise, so the price charged by the computer at checkout is not the price marked on the item.

    Such negligent, unprofessional and unacceptable practices are unheard of in regard to the merchants and businesses we typically patronize in America, or even Grand Cayman. It’s about bloody well time for these lax Brac businesses to get their act together!

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Brac economy will never prosper with that type of mentality and always be dependent on Grand Cayman. Tourism will go to other places if that is the experience that awaits them.

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      • Anonymous says:

        9:33:
        Land sales and development applications indicate that the Brac economy is on the way to waking up in a big way. What I understand is in the works once the economy and population increase is solid, several merchants and investors from Grand Cayman have expressed plans to open up on Cayman Brac and give the lax merchants some serious competition.

        Besides lack of price transparency and predatory pricing that often sees a vast price disparity between stores, there are other problems plaguing the patrons of Brac merchants, parking being one of them. Most of the stores have no empty site space to expand their parking.

        Another issue is store retail area and stock storage space. If the barge misses a trip or there are a lot of visitors to the island, the shelves are rendered bare of common items. And the stores do not have sufficient stock storage area or shelf space to ensure that out-of-stock for popular items is minimized. This also gives rise to a very dangerous situation: more than one store has boxes of stock scattered all over the store. One popular enterprise is apparently trying to expand their selection of merchandise. The enterprise’s solution is to have open boxes of stock and items for sale along all their (very narrow) isles to the extent that it makes navigating their store a quite perilous undertaking. Another very popular shop is getting almost as bad.

        Add to that is the fact that the Brac stores all stock their shelves during opening hours while customers are shopping. One place is notorious for having boxes of items being stocked and empty boxes all over the place. One time at that place I backed up to look at an item on a low shelf and tripped backward over a small unopened box. Thank God, I am quite agile and did not suffer injury. But if I had suffered injury, I am confident that my attorneys would have obtained for me a handsome settlement for that place’s negligence.

        The situation of cluttered aisles is a very serious accident waiting to happen. Especially in light of the fact that Cayman Brac has such a large population of senior citizens. Should my encounter with gravity due to that obstacle had instead involved an elderly person with far less agility, poor balance, and brittle bones, it could have been very very serious or even fatal. It is not a question of “if” someone is going to get seriously injured, it is a merely question of when. Countless times I have stubbed my toes on boxes of stock on the floors. I had to give up wearing sandals or flip flops to shop for just that reason. Brac merchants could easily alleviate the issue by stocking shelves very early in the morning or at night after closing. If they have to stock things during open hours, make use of stock carts and have the clerk roll the carts well out of the way if they are called to other duties.

        I should hope that someone reading this points this comment out to Brac merchants. They certainly seem blissfully unaware, or just unable or unwilling to cope.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Our RETURN ITEMS policy is the worse in the world!
    Actually it’s non existent

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    • Anonymous says:

      I know!

      Many people here voted for transparency, some basic ethics, and professionalism in their government. Try getting a refund on that!

  6. Anonymous says:

    This just one of those laws that will be passed but never brought into force. CIG website lists a number of laws that have been passed but are still not yet force; and also some laws that are party in force. Employment Act has been our books for more than a decade. Another recent example is the National ID law.

    Bottom line….this is just a political gimic to fool us.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    As a consumer can we get protected from Kenny and his idiotic ideas.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    The incompetence level, particularly in trades, in Cayman has become so widespread that it has become the norm, rather than the exception. It seems like anyone can pretend to be a licensed driver(!), painter, plumber, electrician, a/c repair, or mechanic…I mean, how hard could it be, right? There are dishonest unskilled out there, taking money, that shouldn’t have any right to be, or remain, in this jurisdiction. Consumers need a Better Business Bureau to run these crooks straight out of town.

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    • Anonymous says:

      26 @ 1:07pm – Not only in private industry…check the Parliament!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Long overdue but MP’s need to start with CIG Civil Service! “Value for money” is nowhere near being delivered to the pubic by the public service!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      “Announcing the Private Sector Customer Service Medals!

      In the Poor to None Category:
      Gold goes to……..FLOW
      Silver goes to………ScotiaBank Camana “The Bank Where You Spend Most of Your Time”
      Bronze goes to…….other places!

      In the Decent to Good Category:
      Gold goes to…….Parkers
      Silver goes to……my favourite smoke shop at Marquee Plaza
      Bronze goes to…….other places?

      In the Excellent Category:

      Gold is shared by the gentleman with the glasses at Kirks Home Centre who knows where everything is…all the time, and the Cuban gentleman at ALT Home Centre who knows where everything is….all the time!

      Just my experience….”

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      • Anonymous says:

        In the Excellent category, Gold (posthumous) award, is the late and sadly missed Donald who worked at Tibbetts Enterprises on Cayman Brac.

        I can imagine Donald cheerfully greeting and with a warm smile assisting new arrivals at the Pearly Gates.

      • Anonymous says:

        Gold should go to the shoe and leather repair “wizard” in the back room at No1 Shoe Shop. I don’t understand their pricing system, but I’m not complaining! Best shoe repairs in the Western Hemisphere.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unless you can do a better job yourself, which probably you can, you don’t need these cowboy chancers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unlicensed contractors are arrested in SWFL.

    • Annonymous says:

      1.07pm And most hail from elsewhere

  9. Anonymous says:

    We pay more for basic communications than anywhere else on Earth, and the performance, delivery. and service level is years out of date. It’s probably obsolete gear from somewhere else, that ironically had to be upgraded to retain a service license in that jurisdiction. We have to adapt faster to consumer deliverables and accountability if this is to be a grown-up jurisdiction.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    From whom are we protecting?

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    • Anonymous says:

      At the moment, businesses have all the protections, Chamber of Commerce, CITA, Cayman Finance, Rotaries, Masons, and church donor support. Consumers are the ones that get screwed.

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      • Chris Johnson says:

        On behalf of the Rotary clubs I can assure you that during my tenure as a Rotarian of 45 years experience the five rotary clubs have contributed much to the community as have other service clubs that I am familiar with.
        Kindly do not criticize these fine establishments in your rants.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    “Alaska Environment Research & Policy Center released a report Thursday that said 100% of the water it tested in Southcentral Alaska showed the presence of microplastics.”
    https://www.alaskasnewssource.com/2024/01/26/southcentral-lakes-streams-beaches-contain-microplastics-according-alaska-environmental-group/

    I wonder if H2ONLY and Flowers Bottled Water (as well as other water businesses) water was ever tested for microplastics.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Micro plastics is just one worry, it’s only tested for a select few parameters. There are other nastier chemicals in our immediate environment.

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    • Anonymous says:

      But does anyone honestly need PVC tap water out of a Baygon sprayed BPA jug to be sent to a lab for common sense? Safe to assume anyone choosing to reside or visit Cayman will be hitting their daily microplastics limits by noon each day until some other conduit is invented and installed.

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      • Some guy with odd shoes says:

        Berkey Water Filtration System. The Berkey water filter was invented in Germany in 1891 and marketed in the UK in the 1920’s by British Berkefeld LTD. Now online as Berkey Water Filters out of Colorado. REALLY good stuff. At least filter your drinking water and ice cube water.

        Ceramic filters down to the Fluoride, pesticide, virus, bacteria, arsenic, chlorine, hydrocarbons, heavy metal level. https://theberkey.com/pages/test-result

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have all seen the tests on many bottled waters and truths that they actually originate from tap water. One of the greatest scams in history.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh but wait, what they don’t test for simply doesn’t exist. You’ll never be privy to the actual lab reports if they did test for it anyway. Even FOI nick Mickey Mouse can’t get to see them.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Water Authority and Cayman Water should be testing for micro-plastics, plus hazardous and carcinogenic compounds regularly. My guess is that they would not share the results with the wider public.

      There are labs in the US who will test water samples for around $500.00. Easiest way is decant your sample from the water fountain at the airport, after security. Preferably into a non- plastic bottle. Then mail it to the lab in their supplied test vials.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    About time 2024!!! And stop the overcharging, every ‘business’ should take cards, produce receipts when money is paid and not demand cash only with no repurcussions.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Agree with receipts. But can I charge you extra for using your card since that’s what they charge me to process it, and then again to use my money out of the bank?

      (I don’t need your business if you only pay by card, you don’t need my services if you don’t pay by cash. Free market at work.)

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      • Anonymous says:

        Way of the world, what era you live in? The poster said ‘demands’cash only without alternative of card. Free market at work LOL you in the 1950’s,

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      • Anonymous says:

        Consumer has to pay for using card too, better than been robbed of cash and record of card and amount paid than sone nonsense ‘business’ people.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Most business here overcharge anyway, can I charge you for that?

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      • Anonymous says:

        How much I charge you for disgusting customer service? Wakey, wakey!

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      • Anonymous says:

        So the consumer has to go the bank or cash machine to draw cash and then deliver it to you for a receipt…is the receipt written by hand too?

        (I don’t need your business if you only pay by card, you don’t need my services if you don’t pay by cash. Free market at work.)

        Don’t need your services with your attitude!

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      • Anonymous says:

        No, you will need to keep your price the same, no matter the manner of payment. If you incur charges from the credit card company, you need to build that into your overall price for everyone.

        On the other side of the coin, would a seller give a discount if I wanted to pay by cash? Probably not. So you can’t have it both ways.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Strongky disagree.
          Reflective pricing gives consumers the opportunity to save money by paying cash or choose convenience by choosing card. BTW, many cards give cash back to their users that will partially offset the higher cost.

      • Anonymous says:

        Main reason to run a cash only business is usually to hide other cash earned by other means.

        Otherwise you are first target of thieves, as they know you have cash on the premises.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Idiot. You obviously do not run your own business. Give up your cushy “9 to 5” and get out into the real world of business ownership in the local economy.

        • Anonymous says:

          Some businesses have no choice as the banks don’t have card hardware available for months!

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d be fine with not touching any more BPA carcinogenic thermal paper ever again. It should all be touchess point of sale, like has existed in civilisation for half a decade. Our Class A “bank” license holders have not been instructed by CIMA or CIG to adapt their technology to be up-to-date.

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      • Annonymous says:

        The Banks need CIMA to also stop them from issuing Cheque books and then refusing to cash said cheques if payee doesn’t have a bank account. How can this be legal?

    • Anonymous says:

      Take it you’ve never been to Germany?

  13. JTB says:

    Any chance it could include a law against price fixing and cartels?

    Something that would make CIREBA’s abusive practices as illegal here s they would be in any other country one Earth?

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    • Brac Prices says:

      Should check on th extra hight prices on the Brac. some things are 3 times hight than Grand.

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    • Big Bobo In West Bay says:

      CIREBA is by far the best example in the Cayman Islands of price fixing and a cartel. Has made a lot of real estate people here very rich for doing a limited amount of work in many cases.

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      • Anonymous says:

        From barbacks to real estate. Living the dream thanks to investors!

      • Anonymous says:

        10:05…
        The real estate industry is cleverly excluded from the pending bill. You need to be an attorney to figure this out.

  14. Anonymous says:

    “…Kenneth Bryan, is calling for the issuance of a deed of indemnity to the Cayman Airways Board of Directors”…why, pray does this Board request a legal indemnity to insulate them from their public responsibility? If the Board is a rubber stamping sham, then what value is there in pretending it functions as required?

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    • Sir Humphrey says:

      When you get paid a very big salary as a member of the Board of Directors you must accept a level of responsibility and accountability.

      No different than the Board of Directors of United Airlines, American Airlines, Air Canada and British Airways.

      Why should Cayman Airways be so different?

      Maybe the time has come to PRIVATISE Cayman Airways.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Becauae directors of other large private companies have D&O insurance. What the legislature is doing is cheaper in the long run than purchasing D&O insurance.

      • Anonymous says:

        The members of the Board of Directors of Cayman Airways are not paid anything. That’s a fact.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Will there be a motion to establish a select committee to ensure that Planning enforces the existing law against illegal billboards????

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  16. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure if passed it’ll favor the ‘merchant class’ more than the consumer, or it’ll have teeth like a resident of The Pines.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    welcome to the 20th century cayman…..zzzzzz

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