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VI needs Consumer Protection Laws—Queen Shereen

-says we just are totally backwards
October 4th, 2018 | Tags:
VI needs Consumer Protection Laws—Shereen D. Flax- Charles Photo: VINO/File
The view was expounded recently by Queen Shereen, when she appeared as a guest on Honestly Speaking , with Claude Skelton Cline on his radio programme on Tuesday, September 24, 2018. Photo: Team of Reporters
The view was expounded recently by Queen Shereen, when she appeared as a guest on Honestly Speaking , with Claude Skelton Cline on his radio programme on Tuesday, September 24, 2018. Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – The time has come and passed for the Virgin Islands (VI) to enact a Consumer Protection Bill.

The view was expounded recently by Shereen D. Flax-Charles also known as Queen Shereen, when she appeared as a guest on Honestly Speaking , with Claude Skelton Cline on his radio programme on Tuesday, September 24, 2018.

According to the ‘Queen’ the consumer protection challenge in the VI has to we change.

“We suffer so much…..We really need to make a change and get it in place…I don’t know why it’s taking so long.”

She spoke to the fact of having to purchase basic drugs such as Tylenol overseas, because it was too expensive in the VI.

Totally Backwards 

“What I find, that the items you really need the most, the prices are always very high and the time has come and passed that this Consumer Protection Bill should be passed in the House (of Assembly) so the persons in our communities can get relief.”

She related that tourists continue to query, “how can you afford to live,” in the VI.

She said, “we just are totally backwards.”

The two agreed that the time is not now to complain about whose fault it is “fix it.”

According to Queen Shereen, “ I don’t want o hear about what happen 20 years ago, what some Minister didn’t do when he was in power…these are the issues that are facing us now, let’s fix it.”

Learning from the past, she said can be had, but the constant going backward to figure out who was to be blamed when people are here suffering because the Territory is not moving forward “this needs to be fixed let’s just get it done.”   

Broken Promise

The National Democratic Party (NDP) which took power in 2011 promised a Consumer Protection Bill but is yet to produce a draft.

There has however been a public fight between the Junior Minister of Trade and Consumer Affairs, Marlon A. Penn (R8)and the Attorney General, Baba Aziz over that piece of legislation.


10 Responses to “VI needs Consumer Protection Laws—Queen Shereen ”

  • Citizen (04/10/2018, 14:44) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    Queen Shereen, I am in total agreement. I love my home of the Virgin Islands, however we as a community have got to take a stand against injustice and other wrongs. Every time election comes around our candidates roll out their platform of what they believe voters want hear, however once elected it seems as if those issues fall at the waste side. I know we have some candidates (Marlon Penn), who are actually doing the job of their elected voters, but as the VI elders like to say "it takes a community to raise a child", yet they are the one's who seem to fight against change/progress. As the world is moving forward in technology, economics, and tourism, our little islands seems to want to stay at a stand still. All voters young and old need to realize we cannot sustain or maintain our preservation as it if were 30 - 40 years ago. What worked then, may not necessarily work today, especially with all the advancements in todays society. Having a Consumer Protection Bill will only benefit our community if it's FAIR TRADE. This Bill needs to ensure we have quality affordable Goods for decent prices, not ridiculous ones. Our Leader's need to NOT look at the benefits to themselves and their constituents but the survival of the Virgin Islands as a whole "ONE COMMUNITY".
  • Relax (04/10/2018, 17:02) Like (0) Dislike (17) Reply
    You need to relax
  • Political Observer (PO) (04/10/2018, 23:24) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    A consumer protection agency (CPA) has been promised but it is yet to come on stream. Can the Dr. Hon Premier D. Orlando Smith (AL), MoF, tell the territory what is the hold up in bringing this piece of vital legislation to the floor of the HOA? It would be earth shattering if it does not receive unanimous support (13-0) in the HOA. What basically is the value of the CPA?

    Genrally, a CPA can stop unfair, deceptive and fradulent business practices, investigate unfair, deceptive, fradulent...etc complaints, take actions against violators and set rules to maintain a fair market place. Undoubtedly cost of living is skyrocketing; it is stressing all consumers but it is especially hard on consumers at the lower rungs on the economic ladder. Suspect that many consumers are looking to the CPA as a price control mechanism that will bring them some relief. However, the CPA is not a panacea for price control. Price control (ceiling or floor on prices) often brings shortages and poor quality products and services. For example, if there is price control on corn beef, merchants will carry the cheapest and poorest quality brand, if they carry corn beef at all. Some merchants may leave the market altogether. Basic economics states that more will be demanded at a lower price and less demanded at a higher price. Similarly, more is supplied at higher price and less supplied at a lower price. An example is the minimum wage. Less labour is demanded at a higher wage, hurting the workers it is intended help.

    Moreover, fair pricing, less greed and a strong dose of competition are what is needed to reduce the cost of living. Nothing makes one appreciates ones job more than a strong dose of unemployment. Similarly, nothing makes greedy merchants lower their prices than a strong dose of real competition. Consumers need to reward merchants who offer fair and reasonable pricing.

    • RealPol (05/10/2018, 10:18) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @PO, real talk. “Nothing makes one appreciates ones job more than a strong dose of unemployment. Similarly, nothing makes greedy merchants lower their prices than a strong dose of real competition” LoL, LoL, LoL. Mehson, this is a gem. It is real talk though. Got to add this to my coaching and counseling sessions. Sure it will get results. Keep it coming.
    • Diaspora (06/10/2018, 05:08) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      True, the market place should spur competition to lower prices, lower the skyrocketing cost of living, along with improving service levels and quality. Nonetheless, i’m not too hopeful of this happening. The greedy, heartless, shameless, selfish merchants are only interested in maximizing profit. Yes, everything is imported and merchants have to incur transportation, duty, overhead cost, rent, utilities cost and so on and make a reasonable profit. But the merchants can do better on their pricing. Their pricing is haphazard and unreasonable; there is no structure to their pricing madness. The greedy, s...b merchants got customers over a barrel so they have no choice but to pay the exorbitant prices. The market place with effective competition should be bringing relief to the long suffering consumers but it will not. One will quicker see a green mule flying than seeing the process self correct in the interest of consumers. The BVI people is a strong, steely hardy group and they are showing it by enduring the sky high prices. A weaker group would have succumb to the abusive and unhealthy pricing environment. Shopping in the BVI can be hazardous (high prices) to shoppers health; consult a physician before venturing into shops. It is an amazing feat to survive the high prices in the BVI. Shopping local is good for the economy but the high prices make it damn hard to do so. Furthermore, the sky high cost of living make too many residents to eat unhealthy.

      Consequently, it will take government interference in the market place if any relief for the suffering consumer will happen. A healthy dose of socialism is needed. Capitalism is not helping the suffering consumer. We can debate socialism vs capitalism. Let the arrows fly but not only check the dislike block (which is easy) but also provide a reasoned reason for pricing structure.
    • Warning Alert (06/10/2018, 10:36) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Warning! Warning alert! Enter supermarkets and other businesses at your own risk. Sticker shocker can pose a serious hazard to your health and personal well being. This is fore warning to take heed. You got to have a strong constitution (as the olde people used to say) to stomach the sky high and rising cost of living. We used to say that things “down island “ were dear. Well, now lump the VI into the dear grouping. A common refrain of visitors is how do you guys afford to live here (BVI). The new and incoming government will inherit many difficult challenges, ie, public safety, education, health, physical infrastructure (roads, water, electricity, telecommunications, ports), social infrastructure, capital projects recovery effort post Hurricane Irma and Maria, rebuilding the economy, rebranding the territory, constitutional adjustments......etc. This is a full and running over bucket list but arresting the skyrocketing cost of living must be a top priority.
  • wize up (05/10/2018, 05:48) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some of people that calls this place home have no representation: the banks; insurance companies; supermarkets and other businesses places doing what they want at our expense: the leadership won’t do nothing to rectify the consumer’s worries because the government leaders are best friends with the management of those establishments: we are in 2018 modern times and the people still here struggling for consumer legislation: 2018 and still no proper running water for our people: 2018 and sewage problems still on the books: 2018 and look at the public roads: do they truly care about you because some of they problems been here for many many years: went they want you to vote some of them will tell you all manner of bull however when in public office nothing being done for the benefit and the progress of the people:
  • Decency (05/10/2018, 09:26) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Well, if we were not so greedy by creating monopolies and instead opted to treat people decently, then we might not need to create such a law. Too late now it seems.
  • @wizeup (05/10/2018, 15:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good comments but you forgot the landlords or did u mentioned them?
    • wize up (06/10/2018, 01:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @@wizeup: I have 3-landlords to deal with every month: thank God for the covering because I would have been up the ghut all-now: after the hurricane you would have thought the properties belong to my family; when I finished cleaning up only then the landlords showed up.....”I don’t play with a full deck” and those landlords got the message quick fast and in a hurry: we need better leadership in this place: the development of the tourism is great BUT what about: when I was growing up we had no cruise ship and our country was wonderful: nature’s little secret NOW the secret out and we the people are second class

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