DACO issues $10M+ in reparations in favor of consumers during 2023
The Department of Consumer Affairs (DACO, in Spanish) in Puerto Rico awarded more than $10 million in reparations to consumers through 9,326 resolutions in 2023, announced Secretary-designate Lisoannette González-Ruiz.
DACO is responsible for addressing, investigating and resolving consumer complaints regarding goods and services from the private sector.
“I’m pleased to report that, through the resolutions issued by the DACO adjudicative forum, we have managed to issue around $10 million in remedies in favor of consumers in Puerto Rico who submitted a complaint or claim to our consideration during the 2023 calendar year,” she said.
The amount of compensation varied based on case specifics, agency officials said.
“It’s important to note that the month in which the largest amount was awarded was January, with a total of $1.2 million. This is a direct result of the integration of new strategies and platforms, such as the Compliance and Commercial Liaison Office, which, among the goals of which is to educate retailers on the agency’s regulations and ensure compliance,” she said.
González-Ruiz pointed out that, “for us, these types of actions are extremely important since they allow us the opportunity to vindicate the rights of consumers, according to current laws. Following the delays identified because of the COVID-19 pandemic, our work team implemented different measures to expedite the attention and resolution of complaints.”
From January to December 2023, DACO’s consumer protection inspectors conducted more than 7,153 preventive visits to businesses throughout the island to provide guidance and ensure that consumer rights are not violated, she added.
“In total, as part of the inspection visits, 523 violation notices were issued, which represents a collection of more than $385,000 in fines,” González-Ruiz said.