Director-General, Consumer Protection Council, Mrs. Ify Umenyi
The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has uncovered new methods some supermarkets and big retail shops in the country are deploying to shortchange Nigerian consumers.
In the light of this, the Council has given one of the offending supermarkets an ultimatum of May ending this year to put its receipting method right.
The Council, which discovered this during one of its surveillance activities, found out that consumers were either over-billed by cashiers of these retail shops or given receipts that failed to give adequate information on purchases made by consumers, thereby discreetly shortchanging the unsuspecting consumers of their resources.
According to the Council’s investigation, the fraudulent act was discovered to be more rampant during festive seasons when volumes of purchases seem to be on the increase and cons
umers are found to be off guard in cross-checking their purchases vis-a-vis receipts given.
The agency, in a statement signed by its Head of Public Relations, Mr. Abiodun Obimuyiwa, therefore charged Nigerian consumers not only to be more discerning in their purchases, but to also, at all times, and be wary of the receipting method of retail shops patronised by them.
The organisation pointed out that its discovery is propelling it to hasten work on its three new regulations, being worked on to curtail consumer abuses in the market-place.
The new regulations, namely Consumer Protection from Unfair Commercial practices Regulations, CPC (Consumer Complaints Redress) Regulations and Consumer Protection (Price Marking) Regulations were drafted by the Council, vetted by its parent Ministry, the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment and currently with the Federal Ministry of Justice.
The Council gave the May ultimatum because the management of the departmental shop pleaded for time to allow the supermarket relocate to its new location, which will be fully computerised and is about to be launched.
In another development, the Council has cautioned Nigerian consumers, particularly the youth and lovers of Blackberry devices to ensure, before purchase, that their desired devices are made for the West African region in order to enjoy the accompanying warranty on the devices.
The Council pointed out that its interactions with Research In Motion (RIM) of Canada, the makers of Blackberry devices on lack of warranty for many faulty phone devices of the company in Nigeria, revealed that most of these devices were either fake, refurbished or purchased outside the West African region, making them ineligible for the warranty.
CPC claimed that its clamour for the establishment of service centres for Blackberry devices in the six geo-political zones in the country led to the opening of the first one in the series in Lagos, which was inspected by its representatives before its official opening in Lagos on December 17, 2012.
The Council hinted further that as part of its commitment to public enlightenment and the need to save innocent citizens from wasteful spending, it had provided opportunity to RIM to educate Nigerians on how to identify and buy original Blackberry devices in Nigeria on its consumer education radio programme, tagged Consumer Speaks, on the network of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) on February 6, 2013, while another follow-up edition has been fixed for March 20.