So that consumers can enjoy the Carnival period free from problems and possible hassles during the days of revelry, the Consumer Protection Institute (Procon-DF) has come up with some tips on how to avoid scams during this festive season.
Extra attention is among the organization’s main guidelines, both in relation to purchases and movements during the event.
Being careful with purchases made on the internet can avoid major headaches. When purchasing costumes, party tickets or even trips, it is important to check whether the offer actually comes from the company’s official website. It is recommended to go directly to the official page, without opening random links, checking if there is a padlock icon in the bottom corner of the page.
It should also be noted whether there is more than one form of payment in addition to Pix and bank slips, giving priority to the credit card – through which you can dispute purchases made.
In the case of purchasing airline tickets or travel packages, it is recommended that the interested party carry out prior research on the travel agency and complaint websites to find out if the company is trustworthy.
At some parties or blocks, abadás are common purchases for revelers. Procon recommends that people purchase the item directly from the official sales store.
It is also interesting to pay attention to the material manufactured, checking, among other aspects, whether the fabric can cause allergies – especially in children –, paying extra attention when purchasing children’s masks and costumes.
Avoiding purchasing aerosol from money changers is also the department’s guidance, as in these cases no invoices are issued. Instead, always give preference to stores that provide receipts, making sure the packaging is not deteriorated.
When it comes to toys and other materials, it is always recommended to check the age range of use and prefer those that have the Inmetro seal, which guarantees that they have undergone tests and analyzes by bodies accredited for certification. This is the case of aerosol foams, which must contain the Inmetro seal and cannot be toxic, and children’s costumes, which cannot be made from flammable fabrics.
Food and drinks
During Carnival festivities, there is always the consumption part. Therefore, it is important to check the conditions of foods ready for tasting – including drinks -, in which items such as expiration date, temperature and storage status of the products must be observed.
At parties that include food and drinks, it is important to ensure that what is offered matches what has been announced by the organization.
Consumers should also be aware of the appearance of snacks sold by street vendors, as the condition may not be adequate. Anyone enjoying the streets of Brasília should remember to remove the approach option from their card to avoid theft and unwanted transactions, in addition to not handing the card over to the merchant, to prevent changes in values.
There are pre-established rules for restaurants and bars, such as places with an artistic cover. It is mandatory to inform about the service before charging for it, as soon as the customer arrives at the location, in addition to informing the value.
Another issue is in the case of loss of command: the establishment cannot charge a certain amount if the consumer loses the card or equivalent. Furthermore, there cannot be a minimum consumption to be charged.
“Procon’s role is to provide support to the consumer, always starting with guidance. You need to be calm when making purchases and pay attention to the basic requirements. And the guidelines also extend to traders, so that they comply with the established measures”, highlights the general director of Procon, Marcelo de Souza Nascimento.