DACO says it is ready for Cyber Monday
By John McPhaul
Consumer Affairs (DACO by its Spanish acronym) secretary-designate Hiram Torres Montalvo said Sunday that the agency he heads will be monitoring sales associated with Cyber Monday today.
“We recognize that this coming Monday, November 28, is one of the days when most of our consumers make their purchases through internet portals,” Torres Montalvo said in a written statement. “We want to urge all citizens who encounter some type of problem associated with the promotions offered by different online businesses during ‘Cyber Monday’ to contact our offices in order for us to evaluate them with the agility that is required.”
The DACO chief urged consumers who face difficulties making their purchases online today to contact the department at 787-722-7555, as well as on the portal, www.daco.pr.gov, or using the email anunciosengañoosos@daco.pr.gov. They can also report incidents through the inbox on the agency’s page on the Facebook and Twitter social networks: DACO A TU FAVOR and @DACOatuFavor, respectively.
Cyber Monday, held first in 2005, is one of the busiest days of online buying and selling. According to data from Adobe’s Digital Economic Activity Index, in 2021 consumers in the United States, including Puerto Rico, spent $7.1 million on online purchases that day.
Torres Montalvo noted that since the COVID-19 virus pandemic, online purchases have assumed an increasingly prominent role in retail purchases made by consumers on the island.
“Our recommendation to consumers who wish to benefit from the discounts at the various portals on the Internet is to make sure to read all the conditions related to these offers,” he said. “Also, it is important to note that DACO does not have jurisdiction over individual-to-individual sales, such as those made through sites dedicated to that type of transaction. The jurisdiction of DACO is over the businesses and the process of advertising and sales that is developed.”
Separately, Torres Montalvo said that only a fine was issued to a Walgreens pharmacy during inspections conducted in island stores related to Black Friday sales.
“It was because of a labeling issue that has nothing to do with sales and specials; it was basically an isolated incident,” he said at a press conference.
Torres Montalvo also said he believes that although there were not a lot of buyers in stores on Friday, shoppers turned out in larger numbers this year.
“We have to make the comparison perhaps with 10 years ago when there were no such digital platforms to buy online,” he said. “So compared to recent years, it was more crowded.”
“To our surprise, televisions were again the most sought-after items since the early hours of the morning -- 70- and 75-inch TVs,” he added.
“The truth is that we have not had, on this Black Friday, much controversy in the stores,” Torres Montalvo said. “They have opened the doors for us, we have reviewed the inventories and they have all the products available.”