In summary our work involves enforcing criminal consumer protection legislation and advising on civil consumer legislation.
The criminal legislation enforced by the Office only covers persons in business and is intended to ensure that consumers are protected and that a level playing field exists for competing Island businesses. Our legislation covers a wide variety of matters such as weights and measures, inaccurate descriptions of goods or services, safety of consumer goods, timeshare complaints, and we register moneylenders, fireworks stores, video shops and petrol stations to ensure they meet all requirements which are laid down in the legislation.
The Office cannot enforce civil legislation. Such legislation provides consumers with certain rights when purchasing goods and services and these rights can ultimately only be enforced by the consumer through the Courts. Unsatisfactory goods and services, breaches of contracts for goods and services are examples of matters covered by civil legislation. The office does provide advice and information on civil legislation and our staff place an emphasis on encouraging consumers and businesses to behave fairly and reasonably when dealing with problems.