The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has warned traders against selling of defective products and has also told traders that it is unlawful to display messages such as ‘goods once purchased are not returnable’.
This is according to CFTC’s Christmas statement which has been signed by the commission’s Acting Executive Director Apoche Itimu.
Itimu in the press statement has reminded traders in the country that they are obliged to respect the rights of consumers as outlined under the Competition and Fair Trading Act (CFTA) and Consumer Protection Act of Malawi (CPA) and to refrain from barring consumers from returning defective products.
“It is a requirement under both the CFTA and CPA that goods sold to a consumer must be safe, of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, delivered within a reasonable time and must match any description given. If they don’t, the consumer has a right to repairs, replacement or a refund.
“Traders must also be aware that disclaimers that stipulate messages such as ‘no refunds on sale items’, ‘goods once purchased are not returnable’ are unlawful as consumers have the right to return defective products,” reads part of the statement.
The Commission has further reiterated that consumer rights as provided under the CFTA and CPA are enforceable regardless of the fact that an item or service is purchased on promotion or sale.
Traders have also been reminded that they are obliged to ensure correct ingredients, measures or weights are indicated on goods and to avoid supplying goods which can cause injury or harm to a consumer and which do not comply with the Malawi Safety Standards.
“Traders have the following obligations: To provide consumers with true, sufficient, clear and timely information on goods that are on offer. Not to engage in any unfair trade practices. Not to engage in deceitful or misleading conduct, including deceitful advertisement,” reads another part of the statement.
Meanwhile, Consumers have been encouraged to report to the commission any consumer violation that they may encounter during this festive season through their toll free line, 2489.
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