Peru: 4 Lima stores lying to consumers about interest rates

(LIP-ir) — Four well-known commercial establishments in Lima, which sell home appliances and other electronics, are under investigation for not clearly informing customers on interest rates, reported INDECOPI, the Peruvian Standardization and Accreditation Body.

In an interview with Expreso daily, Eva Cespedes, a representative of INDECOPI’s Consumer Protection Committee, explained that there were several well-known establishments in the country’s capital that were charging customers higher interest rates that what was being advertised.

"In various establishments, the interest rates advertised are not the interest rates customers are being charged. For example, in some loans a down payment is required, however, interest rates are being based on the total cost of a product," said Cespedes.

She added that there were many cases in which customers were not being informed on the debts they were acquiring, stating information was being held from consumers.

INDECOPI has discovered cases in which consumers were being charged 140 percent interest rates annually when agreements had established a 40 percent annual interest rate.

Investigations began last year and it was reported that INDECOPI would name the four companies within the next month.

Ventanilla, a district in Lima, along with the help of INDECOPI, has begun a campaign in which stands are set up near financial establishments and stores to make sure consumers are not confused or tricked when acquiring loans.