The Post Zambia, November 30, 2009

CONSUMER Unity Trust Society (CUTS) coordinator Angela Mulenga yesterday urged the Zambia Competition Commission (ZCC) to impose stiffer punishment on business houses that are flouting trading practices and violating consumer rights through the ‘no return and no exchange’ notices.

Speaking after visiting several supermarkets and other related outlets in Lusaka, Mulenga said consumer rights were being violated despite having in place the competition and fair trading Act of 1994.

“We are from visiting a number of reputable shops, supermarkets and other related outlets and found posters on counters written ‘No Exchange, No Returns’. This is a very sad development as it is a violation of consumer rights. A business enterprise of such nature should not be tolerated or entertained,” Mulenga said.

“The phrase ‘No Return, No Exchange,’ is a violation because the law provides that consumers may return or exchange products or seek for remedies in case of hidden faults or defects. By the provision of law sellers are obligated to honour their implied warranties and grant corresponding remedies to consumers.”

She said the ‘no return, no exchange’ practice was uncompetitive and bordered on violation of both consumer rights and the existing laws.

“The only time a product cannot be returned is when it was bought in good condition and without any defect. However, if the product has a defect, consumers are entitled to either exchange or refund. It is thus important that consumers also demanded for the receipts whenever they buy any item as this will help the consumer make their claims,” said Mulenga.

“And we take this opportunity to urge the ZCC and other relevant authorities mandated to safeguard the plight of consumers to mete out stiff punishment to any business house flouting trading practices and violating consumer rights.”

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