By Ndey Sowe
The Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment has warned business entities to desist from not returning monetary change particularly coins to customers.
On Monday, 5th October the aforesaid Ministry issued a press release indicating that the Ministry that it was informing the General Public that some business entities particularly the minimarkets and supermarkets operating in The Gambia were practising the habit of not returning monetary change particularly coins to customers upon purchase of item in their business premises. These coins change are usually replaced with sweets instead.
This came after a journalist wrote on social media that a particular Supermarket was not returning coins as change to their customers when they buy goods there; that instead they give out sweets and mints in replacement for change.
These issues which have attracted concerns and condemnation on social media, have now paid dividend in favour of concerned customers who complained of what they called ‘Civilised Fraud’.
“This act violates the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2014 which was promulgated to protect consumers from unfair and misleading market conduct. Forcing consumers to purchase those sweets without their consent is a violation of the CP Act 2014,” the release added.
Therefore, the Ministry of Trade advised the business community particularly mini markets, supermarkets and corner shops to desist from this practice with immediate effect.
“Any individual who conduct a business transaction with the mini markets and supermarkets should be given their full and complete change in monetary terms”, the release stated.
The release added that the Ministry will continue to monitor the situation and any business entity found wanting will face the full force of law. The cooperation and understanding of the business community is highly solicited.