Retailer fined for misleading consumers

A local electronics and electrical appliances retailer was issued a BND1,000 compound fine for failing to display comparative prices, before and after sales.

The infringement was found during routine inspections conducted in December 2020, by the Department of Economic Planning and Statistics (JPES) through the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs (DCCA), said JPES in a statement.

The retailer also offered items at prices which did not match the discount price list, as required under the Sales Regulations.

According to the Sales Regulations, discounts for an item during sales must be based on the lowest price offered or sold in the last 30 days, before the start of Brunei Salebration (BSb) 2020. This includes prices and discounts verbally agreed upon between buyer and seller when the transaction is made.

“The regulation serves to ensure consumers are not misled into a false sense of savings by businesses that base their discounts on inflated ‘previous prices’ or make false claims regarding the ‘previous price’ prior to the sales period,” said the JPES.

“Failing to produce information to prove valid discounts or falsifying discount pricing to mislead consumers is an offence under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Order and the Sales Regulations, which carries a maximum penalty of a BND20,000 fine and imprisonment of five years.

“Businesses are therefore encouraged to ensure compliance by using genuine ‘previous prices’, so that consumers are informed of before and after prices, before making purchase decisions.”

Members of the public are urged to contact the JPES if they suspect any unfair business conduct.

For queries, feedback or complaints on BSb 2020 or consumer protection law in general, the JPES can be reached through Darussalam hotline at 123, or via the PenggunaBijak mobile app, or via email at [email protected]