CCPC fines MATCUS Driving School for Unfair Trading Practices
2019-12-20The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) Board of Commissioners has fined MATCUS Driving School 1.5 percent of their annual turnover for unfair conduct exhibited against its customers.
CCPC Director Consumer Protection, Mr. Brian Lingela has disclosed that the driving school was fined following an investigation by the Commission which revealed repeated consumer complaints in which the school utilizes false and misleading advertisements which were meant to attract more customers to acquire driving services when the company had no capacity to supply the said services.
Mr. Lingela stated that the Board of Commissioners found that MATCUS Driving School advertised and collected money in form of payments for driving lessons from unsuspecting members of the public on the pretext that the driving lessons would be conducted on manual transmission vehicles when in fact not. The school has also been in the habit of providing automatic transmission vehicles to customers who had paid for manual transmission vehicles when conducting practical lessons.
In its investigations, the Commission found that MATCUS Driving School had exhibited consistent failure to provide driving lessons as per the agreed schedules and timetables with the clients. The investigations have also established that Instructors from MATCUS Driving School would agree to offer lessons on weekends but would be unavailable at
the agreed times and places and would sometimes not respond to the clients’ phone calls.
The Commission notes that this conduct has been consistent as observed from consumer complaints received against the said driving school in the period between 2013 and 2019. The Commission has also established that MATCUS Driving School presently does not own any vehicles, manual or automatic transmission and that since 2016, the company has been operating illegally and without a license from the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA).
The Commission has thus found MATCUS Driving School to have contravened Sections 46(1) as read together with Sections 45(a) and (b); Section 47(a)(i) and Section 49(5) of the Competition and Consumer Protection (CCPA) Act No. 24 of 2010 which prohibits unfair trading practices and relates to false or misleading representation.
In this light, the Commission wishes to warn all driving schools in the country to be compliant with the law by ensuring that they desist from engaging in such unfair trading practices as providing false or misleading information to consumers.
Consumers who intend to access driving lessons from any driving school are urged not to be in a hurry to pay money but to consider shopping around to check and verify the authenticity of their service provider if they are to attain value for their money.