Business

Unfair trading practices in the transport sector

CCPC CONSUMER ADVICE CORNER
Dear CCPC,
First it would be good for me to commend you for your timely intervention in trying to help commuters in intercity bus station. But, do you also protect commuters from local bus operators because there are some buses that also charge people, for example, K5 going into town, then before they reach the destination, they are taught to disembark because of either too much traffic or road block ahead. Otherwise, thank you for what you are doing. – Mrs M.K (Lusaka)
Dear Mrs M.K,
We would like to thank you for your kind words. We are trying our best to ensure that there is no unfair trading and consumers have value for their monies. As a matter of fact, CCPC’s aim to ensure that businesses operate within the provisions of the law to create a win-win situation between businesses and their customers (consumers) in any matter of transaction they engage in and, therefore, we look at unfair trading in all sectors of the economy.
When you look at the genesis of our intervention in the public transport sub-sectors, it was as a result of unfair trading practices that used to happen in these bus terminuses. Local buses too, operate in the same public transport sub-sector, and nothing excludes them from being punished if, they are found to be engaging in unfair trading practices.
Like the situation Mrs M.K has just highlighted, this is a good example of unfair trading practices in the sub-sector, and whatever punishment that CCPC can be met out on the long distance bus operator, can also be meted out on the local ones because the practice and violation is the same.
All we are appealing to the consumers of the public transport services is that they report such practices to relevant authorities such as the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) or to CCPC.
It is very simple to corner such operators, all we need is you to give us the registration number of the vehicle and then our colleagues and partner in such issues, RTSA, will be able to give us the names and contact details of the owners of the vehicle (bus) and we will follow up.
However, we also appeal to consumers that when they complain, they need to have the necessary basic information about the vehicle. For example, its registration number, colour and if possible any physical feature on the vehicle which can help us identify it easily.
This is important in situations where the owner is unreachable or they did not take note of the registration number. Once enough lead information is given to us, it even quickens the process, unlike situations where the complainant has no details whatsoever of the vehicle.
Please help us by giving us this information for us to quickly help you.
If you have any questions, concerns or query, please do email to us on the contact details below.
Please e-mail us on: zcomp@ccpc.org.zm, h.chaaba@ccpc.org.zm. Visit our Facebook page:www.facebook.com/Competition-and-Consumer-Protection –CCPC-Zambia or Follow us on Twitter @ CompComZambia. 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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