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.
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :