Malawi supermarkets warned on cheating; engaged in deceptive pricing 

Malawi’s Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has warned prominent supermarkets in the country that it shall take stern measures to deal with any supermarket that continues to engage in  deceptive pricing that has been recently uncovered.

Malonda: Supermarkets are stealing , displaying lower prices on shelves and charging higher prices at the till

Malonda: Supermarkets are stealing , displaying lower prices on shelves and charging higher prices at the till

In a  statement released by Executive Director Charlotte Wezi Malonda, says CFTC recently carried out an inspection exercise of top 10 supermarkets in the cities of Lilongwe and Blantyre that reveled that they were intentionally engaged in deceptive pricing with a view to defraud unsuspecting consumers.

CFTC noted that the supermarkets are displaying lower prices on the shelves and charging higher prices at the till and displaying lower overall amount on the till screen while the printed transaction receipt shows a higher amount.

They are also displaying edible food products bearing two expiry date labels and some items did not display prices.

Some Malawians posted these concerns on social media telling consumers to make sure they check the receipt against price totals.

“It’s worse if you are buying fruits and vegetables — the weighted charges are lower but the till will sneak in at least MK300 or MK400, this way on a day they are raking in thousands of kwacha ripping people off,” reads one warning from a consumer, naming Chipiku as the culprit.

“When pressed, they say it’s their system. Another one said the scanner is not reading barcodes properly and yet another one will say it’s the computation of dismall points.

” These are some of the tricks retailers do to steal thousands from unsuspecting customers. So be careful. The amount might not seem much but by and by people are being swindled here.”

After verifying these allegations, CFTC says: “In view of this, the Commission would like to warn all supermarkets that it is an offence, under the Competition and Fair Trading Act and Consumer Protection Act for any trader to engage in any form of deceptive or misleading conduct. It is also an offence for any trader to engage in any unfair or unconscionable tactics aimed at profiteering and taking advantage of consumers.

“The Commission will take stern measures to deal with any supermarket that continues to engage in such malpractices. This will include “naming and shaming” and huge punitive fines to offending supermarkets in the hope that these penalties will motivate them to comply voluntarily with consumer protections laws.

“Finally, the Commission wishes to advise the general public to ensure that they exercise caution when dealing with some of these supermarkets which are blatantly bent on defrauding unsuspecting consumers,” the statement said.

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7 thoughts on “Malawi supermarkets warned on cheating; engaged in deceptive pricing ”

  1. Mphatso says:

    True CFTC an example is SPAR in city centre where people queued for a very long time to get food and the tagged the price only to find that at the till it was almost 35% up and embarrassingly they had just to abandon the food disappointed. Malawians are being taken for granted. Am sure that food was recycled.

  2. Thitherward says:

    The CFTC spokesperson says, “The Commission will take stern measures to deal with any supermarket that CONTINUES to engage in such malpractices.”

    So there is one law for the rich supermarket owners, and another law for the poor – as usual. If there is evidence that a poor person has committed a crime – theft – he is punished. If a rich supermarket owner commits theft, he is told, “Don’t let it happen again. Otherwise, we may do something.”

    Presumably, the commission has evidence of crimes committed – so charge the bastards! Are you frightened to confront their wealth and political influence?

    Every decent person in Malawi is sick of the politics of impunity. We have had enough. The CFTC must work with the Police Service to make these greedy, selfish criminals pay for their crimes.

  3. grace chunga says:

    I had this experience both at Chipiku and Superior Halaal. Whilst the difference at Chipiku was manageable albeit still trickery, the difference at Superior Halaal was way too much, I noticed this anomaly when they were weighing oranges for me, price on display was different by far from the one that showed on the scale, when I inquired, poor guy said it is the price for the new consignment and that it is a computer error, he went to the back store for some 10 minutes and when he came back the price was corrected…..but lol and behold! when I reached the till the price was three times , when I inquired the lady said, the computer guy has not set the correct price for her till. Total horse shyte….she had the audacity to say, if you want you can wait until the computer guy fixes this. I had already wasted more time than necessary and just left the juicy oranges on the till. My question is how many unsuspecting shoppers are duped? These shops are frequented by Mozambicans who shop like there is no tomorrow and am sure could not care less to check each item against price on display? Malawi sazatheka. Lets be alert……….

  4. C Banda says:

    “The Commission wishes to advise the general public to ensure that they exercise caution when dealing with some of these supermarkets which are blatantly bent on defrauding unsuspecting consumers.”

    How can we exercise caution when the Commission does not name the supermarkets?

  5. aka no thope says:

    Go to Mzuzu Shoprite, opp katoto filling station, that’s what they are doing right now. They’ll simply reply its factory fault as if factory is responsible for attaching price stickers on products.

    1. Peter Nkosi says:

      That is interesting about Mzuzu Shoprite. One more reason for me not to go there.

      I do not doubt your allegation, but can you give some examples of the criminality which you have experienced there?

      Myself, I go to Shoprite only when I really, really need to because I find that their prices are higher than elsewhere, such as PTC or the market. Whenever I do go, I see some people there only to buy the likes of ufresh, which can be found cheaper at other shops, and I wonder why they do that.

  6. ABCDEF says:

    These thieves have been unearthed. Why are their names being hidden? And what has the law done?

Comments are closed.