02 May, 2007

Sale of Goods

Consumer Protection. In Anguilla we have no modern consumer protection laws. Our most recent law is the Sale of Goods Act. It was originally passed in England in the year 1893. It has been revised and can now be seen as Chapter S10 of the Revised Laws of Anguilla. It is extremely out of date. Everywhere else it is being replaced by modern consumer protection laws. Is there anyone in Anguilla attending to this? I know we have no watchdog association in the private sector. We have no one representing the interests of the average man and woman in the shops. If there was, the shelves would not be stuffed with all of those out of date groceries that have been given away to our merchants, and who are selling them at full price.

Compare our dire situation with that of neighbouring St Maarten. You can read about how they are dealing with the need to protect consumers from avaricious and corrupt merchants in a newspaper article recently published in the Daily Herald here. The St Maarteners realized that the image of St Maarten was being destroyed, and that the law needed to be updated. The new law will have the effect of increasing the level of the quality of goods offered to the consumer. It has the additional effect of enhancing business and increasing trade.

Is no one in Anguilla interested?


  1. False advertising is common and getting worse.

    In The Anguillian issue of 4 February 2005, an article on page 13 about the new Subway claims they serve "fresh meats (mainly chicken and turkey)". I find this extremely difficult to believe.

    They add, "We find that Anguillians, just as St. Marteners, Americans, Europeans and everybody else, are all now catering towards the healthy food concept." News to me. Last time I heard, Anguillian children were all pigging out on greasy chicken and chips.

  2. ... ID Mitch... You have concreted my belief that Anguilla is best served with a "democratically elected selection". I hope your voice in the wilderness is the kind of voice Anguillians will hear, well I only hoping, for our next selection process. Your platform is serene and it will be a tavesty to Anguillians if you are not considered even under duress. The resourses will abound your mission and demand your vision. Select your team.

  3. Any of the existing teams would be overjoyed to have Justice Mitchell as a fellow candidate, as it would legitimise their corruption. How does an honest man choose which team of miscreants to join?

    Some are saying he should ignore all these electoral "gangs" and just speak for the people.

  4. The question is, in the absence of consumer protection laws, what do we do to protect ourselves from unscrupulous merchants selling us out-of-date or shoddy, below-standard goods?

    I give you the following imaginary scenario: It is Friday. The fresh goods are in the shops ready for the weekend. They are supposed to have got rid of the stale stuff. You are in IGA standing in front of the chilled milk shelf. You see that the plastic bottles of St Thomas Dairy milk are expired. Their “sell by” date was on the Wednesday before. What do you do? Do you (1) complain to the cashier at the check out? Do you (2) ask to see the manager and complain privately? Do you (3) stand in front of the milk shelf and complain loudly for all to hear, “Come and look at this! Quincey, you are selling milk that is out of date! Quincey, how you could do such a thing? Quincey, come and take these bottles off the shelf now!” Or, do you (4) dash the bottles to the floor, splashing the milk all over the shop while shouting at the top of your voice, “Quincey, you trying to poison my family? Quincey, you trying to make us all sick? Quincey, I am going to hold you down and pour all this stale milk down your throat!”

    Which do you think will be most effective?

  5. I had the misfortune to attend the opening ceremony of Quincy's store, about 15 years ago, MC'd by his cousin Iwandai. We were subjected to speeches about this ethical young Christian who decided to open his own store to serve us, the people, after observing the abuses Anguilla consumers were subjected to. The name of the Lord was invoked beyond my ability to count. Following numberless accolades Quincy himself took the stage and made a number of specific pledges to the people of Anguilla. One of these was not to seee products beyond their pull date. He went even further, saying he would not sell products that were NEARING their pull dates.

    After observing that his employees failed in this several times I brought the problem to his attention. He said it was a mistake and would be corrected. It has continued to happen, year after year, and I am convinced it is intentional. As Quincy's actions and business practices are, according to him, dictated by God, I can only conclude that his God's ethical basis is at variance with my God's. My God!

    Returning to your original question, what do we do to protect ourselves? We can either call upon the Lord to protect us or shop somewhere else. You can do what you want. I have chosen the latter course.


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