The Commission and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has slapped Malawi’s prestigious media aid firm – Medical Aid Society of Malawi (MASM) – with a K500,000 fine for conducting itself in a manner that misled its clients.
CFTC Executive Director Apoche Itimu said in Lilongwe on Thursday that they commissioned an investigation against MASM in the administration of a pensioner’s scheme.
“The investigations established that the complainant joined the medical scheme in January 2005 on VIP, then later changed to executive up to 2018 and further changed to econo-plan,” she said.
The commission further established that the respondent introduced an offer of 50 per cent reduction in monthly fees as pension benefit to their members who have been with them for 15 years continuously and attained the age of 65.
When the complainant reached the age of 65 and applied to enjoy the discount in 2019, he did not receive a response, she said.
According to the respondent, a member’s fee would be reduced only on the scheme that the member had been on for the last three years whereas the complainant has changed his scheme.
However, she said, the important qualification was not highlighted in the respondent’s flyer or their website nor was it mentioned in the respondent’s 20-minute media programme on Mibawa Television.
Itimu said the Commission found that the respondent did not provide adequate information pertaining to the discount to allow consumers to make informed decisions about the offer, as was with the complainant who remained with MASM in the hope that he would enjoy the discount at the age of 65, she said.
Therefore, she said, the Commission deemed the respondent’s conduct as unfair to the consumer and a violation of section 43 (1) of the CFT Act.