The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has demanded Medical Aid Society of Malawi (MASM) to stop broadcasting an advert in which the healthcare firm claims that it does not demand its members to pay shortfalls on medical bills.
In a statement, CFTC says information in possession of the commission shows that several hospitals and clinics are still charging shortfalls to MASM members on medical bills and consultation fees which is contrary to claims that the society has been making in radio advertisements over the past few months.
“By claiming that MASM has scrapped off shortfalls, while in practice demanding that members pay shortfalls on medical and consultation bills, the society has left consumers deceived and swindled,” it stated.
The statement further stated that the conduct of providing false information or suppressing crucial information in the name of terms and conditions apply is grossly deceptive, unfair, and unreasonable.
According to CFTC, MASM’s conduct is a serious offence under the Competition and Fair Trading Act of the laws of Malawi in particular, section 43(1)(d) of the Competition and Fair Trading act (CFTA) which states that a person shall not, in relation to a consumer engage in conduct that is likely to mislead the public as to the nature, price, availability, characteristics suitability for a given purpose, quantity or quality of any products or service and section 43(1) (k) which states that a person shall not, in relation to a consumer put out an advertisement which is misleading or deceptive.
Meanwhile, CFTC has reminded all advertisers that the law requires them to protect consumers with true, adequate, clear and prompt information on the goods and services offered so that consumers can make proper and informed choices.