Monday, March 16, 2009

Consumer Protection in Guatemala

Ever wonder about the complaint logbook that you see prominently displayed in many businesses?

Since 2006, Guatemala has had a consumer protection law that is quite thorough and the logbook is one of the requirements of the law. The decree outlaws deceptive advertising, deceptive charges or fees, false advertising, phony offers or offers that are not fulfilled, deceptive labeling, tainted products or products that do not contain what they say, improperly calibrated scales or other measuring devices, and much more. The law covers false advertising by any means, print, electronic, etc. The law protects all consumers of goods and services including private individuals and legal entities like corporations, both domestic and foreign.

The text of the law is here: http://www.diaco.gob.gt/ley.php

The original decree is here: http://www.diaco.gob.gt/registro3578.pdf

In addition there is a pan-Central American consumer protection agency called DIACO, with arms in each of the countries of Central America. The Guatemalan agency provides many services for education and training and holds consumer protection fairs in different parts of the country. Most departments have a DIACO office. They also have a web site with lots of information and a mechanism to file complaints online.

http://www.diaco.gob.gt/index.php

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