THE COMPETITION AND CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMISSION RECOVERS OVER ZMW 2 MILLION IN REFUNDS FOR CONSUMERS
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (“CCPC”) has from January to September 2023, investigated and resolved one thousand one hundred fifty (1,150) unfair trading cases across the length and breadth of the country. From the cases handled, the Commission recovered, for consumers, Two Million Eight Hundred Fifty-Nine Thousand Five Hundred Fifty-Two Kwacha Fifty-Three Ngwee (ZMW2,859,552.53) in refunds; and goods and services worth One Million Four Hundred Forty-Seven Thousand Thirteen Kwacha Six Ngwee (ZMW1,447,013.06) in product replacements, repairs, or performance of unsatisfactory services. In 2022, during the same period, the Commission investigated One Thousand Seven Hundred Forty- Three (1,743) unfair trading cases. The Commission is however concerned with the continued high number of complaints received from members of the public, which signifies poor customer service delivery in the country. The complaints for the period January to September 2023 were received mainly from the retail, financial and ICT sectors. In the retail sector, the Commission handled complaints relating to businesses failing to supply goods bought on hire-purchase by consumers, and the supply of defective goods, mostly mobile phones and television sets. In the financial services sector, the
Commission handled complaints mainly relating to unsolicited deductions and continued deductions for settled loans. In the ICT sector, most of the complaints related to delayed fund reversals for failed or erroneous mobile money transactions. We want to note that a significant number of these complaints would have been resolved without involving the Commission, if businesses had clear and effective customer redress mechanisms. The Commission would therefore like to commend business houses for endeavouring to keep the promise of “Team Service”, the theme for the 2023 Customer Service Week. The activities they undertook and commitment to consumer service exhibited promoted a culture of consumer protection. We therefore call on business houses to maintain the consumer-centric trajectory for effective customer service. We emphasise the importance of Businesses having clear redress and complaint management mechanisms. Furthermore, as part of our mandate, CCPC offers training on the Competition and Consumer Protection Act to both businesses and consumers at no cost.