Consumers Fleeced By Inaccurate Weighing Scales

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GEORGE TOWN, Sept 9 – Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) urges the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-Operatives and Consumerism to conduct checks and take action against wet market traders using inaccurate mechanical weighing scales (with dial indicators on both sides of the machine) to short-weigh consumers.

Its president S.M. Mohamed Idris said their recent survey at all the wet markets in Penang showed that some of the weighing scales have their calibration stickers displayed away from the consumers. He said in fact the calibration should be seen by consumers so that the consumers are assured of the accuracy of the weighing scale and if it is fit for use in business.

“Besides the calibration sticker issue, we also found that the weighing scales used by most traders are less than satisfactory as the indicator of the dial does not start from “0” (zero) and sometimes the dirty transparent plastic dial makes the reading of the dial difficult,” Idris said.

“Traders should send their weighing scales for recalibration annually under the Weights and Measures Act 1972. The Ministry should seriously consider printing the year of calibration in large bold fonts on the calibration sticker for easy reading by the consumers. They should also be reminded that the side of the weighing scale with the calibration sticker should be clearly displayed, facing the consumers,” he said.

Idris said the Ministry should also ensure that every market has two weighing scales (one of which is meant for halal items) for consumers to verify the weight of their goods if they have any doubts. He also added that the contacts should also be provided at where the weighing scales are so that consumers can call if the consumers have any complaint such as short-weight, price hike of essential items or unhealthy business practices.

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