SERNAC's New Interpretative Circular on Supplier's Good Practices in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic 

April, 2020 - Guillermo Carey, Aldo Molinari, María José Martabit, Eduardo Reveco, Kureusa Hara and Javiera Durand

On April 20, 2020, the National Consumer Service (SERNAC) published the "Interpretative Circular on Supplier’s Good Practices in the context of the Covid-19 Pandemic", which seeks to establish the main concepts and criteria for companies to promote good commercial practices in order to protect consumers, especially with regard to their health and physical and psychological integrity. SERNAC focused its attention on five general recommendations, developing particular measures for each of them, so that providers can face the health emergency:


I. Use and reinforcement of digital channels

It is recommended that electronic or "online" purchases be encouraged, and that digital attention be strengthened, increasing channels and promoting fluid communication with consumers.

It is suggested that special measures be taken to meet the promised deadlines for the dispatch of products, complying with hygiene measures dictated by the health authorities for their delivery.


II. Establishment of digital channels for carrying out procedures

In order to relieve the congestion of call centers and promote the use of technologies that can serve companies in the future, it is recommended to promote the digitalization of procedures to provide agile solutions to consumers, encouraging electronic payments.


III. Flexible and exclusive opening hours

In order to protect the health of consumers and to avoid sources of infection, it is suggested that flexible hours of operation be established, which will meet the needs of consumers, although this will reduce the actual hours of operation.

With regard to the population at greatest risk, it is recommended that exclusive hours be established for their attention.

If there is considerable demand in the establishment, it is recommended that people be admitted in shifts or at special times.


IV. Hygiene measures and space allocation

It is suggested to implement special schedules that allow adequate cleaning of the facilities and furniture, in a frequent, timely and continuous manner.

It is suggested that spaces be organized and distributed in such a way as to allow the fluid and constant movement of people, in order to guarantee a minimum distance.

It is recommended to prefer and promote digital payment means over cash, taking special hygiene measures regarding the treatment of money.


V. Relationship with consumers in commercial establishments

It is urged to have masks and gloves, ensuring the replacement of these implements by the staff of the establishment and to encourage the use of alcohol gel and masks by consumers during the purchase.

It is recommended that consumers be informed, in advance and through all available channels, of the measures taken by the suppliers or those required by the health authority safeguarding the dignity on the treatment of consumers.

It is advisable to have an adequate protocol in case a worker presents symptoms of contagion or is diagnosed with the disease to avoid and prevent the spread of the virus, both with the rest of the personnel, as well as with the consumers who attend the establishment.

This Circular is already available on SERNAC's website, and can be reviewed at the following link.


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