Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

Your responsibility as a consumer

When the consumer is more careful about his spending habits, he saves himself a lot of money as well as time and aggravation. It could also mean not having to go back to the shop, or seeking out the Small Claims Courts or Tribunals to obtain redress.

As a responsible consumer:-

  •  Don’t swallow line, hook or sinker what sales people tell you, or what you read/hear in advertisements. Take time to THINK whether the claims are logical (for example getting 20% per month returns on your investment is not logical; winning free gifts out of the blue is not logical).
  •  When any claims sound too good be on your guard immediately. Do not take the next step (for example paying money to someone or signing any documents) without THINKING and SCRUTINIZING the document.
  •  If you are told the offer is valid only for the day, FORGET about it straightaway. It is only meant to excite you and overpower your rationality.
  •  Remember it is easier to say NO at the first instance, and change it to YES after careful thought and further investigation. But if you say YES or sign any documents without thinking twice or without reading and fully understanding all the terms and conditions in the document, you could land yourself in BIG TROUBLE. For example, the so called “Free” Astro offer that at one time came with the purchase of a Proton car was not totally free. When you signed the form, you agreed to be tied up for 3 years, and if you decided to terminate the  contract earlier you had to pay a sum of RM500.
  •  If anyone claims that he is from a government department, ask to see his authority card and take down his name, I.C. No and address. If he does not produce such a card, or does not want you to note down his particulars, show him the door. If he refuses to leave, he becomes a  trespasser. Call the police.
  •  Do not allow strangers into the house, no matter how nice they appear to be. Once in the house, they will harass you with their high-pitched sales talks and refuse to leave unless you buy something. Of course you can call the police if they won’t leave when you refuse to buy their products, but PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.
  •  Be careful when signing contracts because in Malaysia, we do not have an “Unfair Contract Terms Act”. You could be signing away more than you realised and be bound by it.
  •  It may be glamorous and classy to be seen with a wallet-ful of credit cards. But they may lead you to bankruptcy if not used in a judicious manner.
  •  If you care about maintaining a good financial standing, don’t get into any bad debts that will get your name into the computer systems of credit reference agencies. Although you may pay up your debts later, your financial history could remain in the system for good and stare at you whenever you need to take a loan from a financial institution.
Find out how shopping malls, supermarkets, casinos and advertisers are manipulating you in the CAP Guide, Don't Be A Victim Of Mindless Buying