Panellists to a discussion to mark this year’s World Consumer Rights Day have implored consumers to be vigilant when buying products.
The call was made at a panel discussion to mark this year’s commemoration themed Protecting Consumers From Substandard Products organised by the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) jointly with the Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) on Tuesday at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre.
CFTC executive director James Kaphale in an interview after the hour-long discussion indicated that consumers continue to face challenges due to lack of knowledge and awareness on their rights.
He said CFTC is raising awareness on consumer rights and responsibilities.
Said Kaphale: “We have taken a number of actions to protect consumers from substandard products such as recalling products from the market and forcing traders to return consumers’ money when they sell substandard products.
“Consumers need to be vigilant by engaging the right and reputable traders when making purchases to avoid falling victim to unscrupulous traders.”
On his part, Cama executive director John Kapito noted that consumers have not taken control of their money and do not want to demand for better services.
He said: “Over time, we have noted that consumers go to the market and look for cheap items and compromise our safety by picking items of cheap quality.
“It is the consumers’ responsibility to ensure that when we walk into the market, we know what and who we are buying from and most importantly, collect a receipt in case the product is of poor quality and there would be need to return it.”
CFTC commissioner Esmie Tembenu implored consumers to report any unfair trading conduct in any sector to the CFTC.
World Consumer Rights Day is commemorated on March 15 to raise global awareness on consumer rights and responsibilities.