The Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) has called on consumers in the country to start demanding for receipts each time they purchase goods or services, saying they are empowered by law.
CAMA under a Receipt Langa (Demand for Receipt) project has since set-up a media club which will assist in monitoring and provide market inspection assessing the impact of the project as well as assist consumers understand the importance of demanding receipts.
Based on Consumer Protection Act (2003) consumers are empowered to demand for a receipt for every transaction or purchase made with the receipt providing clear details of the actual price as well as any duty, tax, charge, fees or levy the consumer is liable to pay.
CAMA Executive Director, John Kapito disclosed in an interview with Nyasa Times that the body initiated the project following numerous complaints it has been receiving especially on challenges consumers face when seeking redress on purchases made in absence of receipts.
“We noted the influx of substandard products and services being offered on the market, and challenges consumers continue to experience on how they can get redress on certain purchases they have done in absence of a receipt, and this has been made worse by many traders that refuse to give receipts to consumers,” said Kapito.
Kapito said traders who continue to use disclaimer clauses such as ‘Once goods are bought are not returnable’, and those who refuse to give consumers warranties and guarantees especially on products that have long usage.
“It has also been noted that most traders are deceiving consumers that if they don’t demand a receipt then they will be entitled to a discount which is not true considering the many challenges they face after every purchase. We urge consumers to start demanding for receipts and ensure they use such receipts each time they seek redress on purchases made.”
Section 36 (1) of the Consumer Protection Act (2003) stipulates that “A supplier or trader of technology, goods or services shall provide a consumer with a contract, receipt, ticket, invoice, business record or any other document that embodies or evidences the transaction unless this requirement is expressly excluded by this Act or any other written law.”
The Act further stipulates in Section 34 (4) that “The supplier or trader shall, in transactions concerning products for long use, provide maintenance, after sale services and guarantee or warranty to the consumer.”
Kapito believes that the project would create a platform where consumers will be educated that a demand for a receipt must be compulsory, thereby assisting in eliminating fake and counterfeit products.
“It’s is our desire to see consumers refrain from conducting business with traders that do not issue receipts after purchase. We would like to see empowered consumers, and the changed traders who are able to bide by the law and stop giving consumers a raw deal,” added Kapito.