The Consumer Association of Malawi (CAMA) has warned the business community against issuing consumers with receipts that bear an exemption clause “Goods once bought are not returnable” saying doing so is against the law.
A CAMA official, Maurice Nkawihe said Wednesday at an interface meeting organized by Genesses Manja Othandiza at Zingwangwa secondary school hall aimed at sensitizing communities about duties and responsibilities of CAMA.
According to Nkawihe, it is against Malawi laws to issue consumers with receipts bearing exemption clauses as this infringes consumer rights.
“Such clause prohibits the consumer from logging a complaint thereby putting them at a disadvantage,” he said.
“Consumers have got rights to return goods whenever they feel cheated about the product and preventing them is against the law under the Consumer Act,” Nkawihe said.
He said consumers should report to CAMA any business entity that is still using these receipts instead of the recently launched electronic fiscal device (EFD) receipts by the Malawi Revenue Authority.
“Recently, CAMA and MRA joined efforts to promote “Receipt Langa” campaign which was aimed at sensitizing both consumers and sellers on the importance of receiving EFD receipts,” Nkawihe said.
He said consumers should not receive such receipt instead opt for EFD receipts since they do not contain such a clause.
“We urge consumers to avoid getting these receipts because they make it difficult for us to process a case since they exempt the seller from anything that may occur after the sale,” Nkawihe said.
He asked people to set up consumer clubs at community level so that they should learn more about their rights.
“As CAMA we are willing to provide them with materials such as books and other related materials that can help them run their clubs,” he added.
The Consumer Protection Act 11 No. 14 stipulates that such a clause –that prohibits a buyer from returning goods once bought, shall have no effect as they exempt or limit the responsibility of the supplier of goods of any inadequacy, deficiency or efficacy of any nature of goods or technology supplied or service rendered.