Consumers have been asked to ensure that price tag of products they collect should correspond with what they pay at the till to avoid being duped.
The call by the Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) follows a complaint from Dickson Ching’anda of Blantyre, who last week bought a 500 milllitre bottle of Malambe juice at one of the major shopping chains in Blantyre at almost twice its initial price.
After he left the shop, Ching’anda realised that he had bought the product at a higher price after it was wrongly tagged.
He queried the shop manager and the product manufacturer for clarification on the price, but was not assisted as the two parties shifted blame to one another despite, admitting the error in price communication.
“I have been in touch with the manufacturer’s regional manager, who admitted that there was an error in the price attached to the bottle and they are discussing with the shop [management] to correct it, stressing that I would be refunded, but they have not yet done that.
“The [shop] manager also acknowledged the error and promised to refund me but they have not, saying they are still in talks with the manufacturer. I have the receipts and the bottle as evidence, but they are not giving me my money,” he said.
Cama executive director John Kapito has since warned consumers to double-check prices on shelves against what they are charged at the till before they pay for the goods.
“Such things are happening in various shops across the country. What is worrisome is that the tendency is growing. But it rests on the consumers to take full charge of their money when buying commodities.
“Traders are taking advantage of the illiteracy level of most Malawians. This is a warning to such traders that if such tendencies continue, they will face consequences because this is theft,” he said.
Kapito said most Malawians are usually in a hurry when buying goods which results in such incidents.
“Most consumers are in a rush when buying commodities such that they do not look at the price tag. It is such deeds that make traders take advantage of them and reap off their money. Consumers should be responsible when buying goods,” he said.