Sport

‘No refund in long distance public transport’

CCPC CONSUMER ADVICE CORNER
Hello CCPC,
FIND time to go to Intercity Bus Terminus and inspect tickets for all transporters for No Return, No Refund and also how other transporters use tickets without heading (no company name), which makes it difficult to identify the company or claim for refunds. NM
Dear NM
It is a pleasure to hear from you, as CCPC our aim is to correspond with consumers like you on any concern you raise. We have noted that a few weeks back there was a similar concern. It is for this reason that we have decided to rerun this article.
To start with, the display of inscriptions on receipts such as No Refund, No Exchange and No Return is an offence under the Competition and Consumer Protection Act. CCPC has continued to charge fines against companies that have continued to deny and disregard consumers’ rights. Receipts that do not have details have proved difficult to most customers and this practice by bus operators and indeed other companies should come to a stop.
We, therefore, urge passengers that each time they are issued with  tickets bearing inscriptions such as No Refund, No Exchange and No Return, they must report such companies to CCPC. Bearers of these receipts tickets simply need to avail the receipts, to any office of the CCPC for appropriate action to be taken. This does not only apply to the transport sector but to all other businesses as well.
CCPC is aware of your concern and is taking measures to curb the vice. It will please you to note that CCPC recently launched a booklet “Unfair Trading” at Lusaka’s Intercity Bus Terminus aimed at empowering consumers as well as providers of public transport services of their obligations and rights.
We have come up with various strategies, apart from the launch of the booklet, which marks the beginning of a national exercise. This means that the same exercise will be done in all provincial centres across the country.
The airing of documentaries on Muvi and ZNBC television is another strategy that will inform and educate members of the public at even a larger scale. This will give consumers and bus operators an opportunity to understand that certain behaviour they engage in is unfair and against the law.
So far, the booklet has been distributed in Livingstone and we are using our offices in Chipata, Mongu, Kasama, Kitwe and Solwezi to issue it out to bus stations.
In the provinces and towns where CCPC has not yet established physical presence, starting this week we will go and campaign against unfair trading in the sector and many others, and also we will take advantage of the platform to launch the booklet.
CCPC has produced memorable cartoons depicting the situation at Intercity Bus Terminus as a way of informing members of the public in an entertaining way.
We note that consumers also have obligations such as not giving their hard-earned money to call-boys and ensure that they buy tickets only from designated booths.
Other than that, we also intend to produce audio and video drama series in local languages depicting what happens in these in bus stations, and these include; displaying of “No Refund, No Exchange” and also “Luggage at owner’s risk” notices on receipts, misleading consumers (passengers), coercing passengers to use a particular bus, and many other unfair trading practices.
This drama will conclude by stating that such a practice is illegal, and will state the gravity of the offence. It will also provide consumers with information on where and how they can report such conducts. These will then be distributed for free to bus stations for airing. The Commission will work with bus operators to ensure that a strategy is developed that will see these materials aired and eradicate ignorance of the law.
This of course will be one of the many strategies we are using to ensure that consumers in the public transport sub-sector enjoy value for their money and ensure that service providers respect consumer rights.
We are appealing to members of the public to report incidences of unfair trading by bus operators to the CCPC. They also have to ensure that they buy tickets from designated booths and also avoid giving “call-boys” their luggage or money before choosing the bus they want to use. Consumers also need to ensure that the tickets bear the name of the bus company and its contact details. If these are missing on the receipt, it is advisable that consumers choose another bus with a genuine receipt.
Please email to us on: zcomp@ccpc.org.zm, h.chaaba@ccpc.org.zm. Visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/Competition-and-Consumer-Protection-Commission-Zambia. We are at 4th Floor Main Post Office Building, P.O Box 34919. Lusaka. Telephone: 222775/222787, Toll Free line: 5678 across all mobile phone networks.

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