Cement Price Hike Investigations Still Ongoing
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is still undertaking its investigations regarding the simultaneous and synchronized hike of prices in the cement sector.
CCPC has in the recent days been receiving press queries and calls from the media following a press statement which was released by Lafarge on the dawn raid that was conducted by CCPC last Tuesday at Lafarge Cement Manufacturing Company in Chilanga.
The Commission is alive to the fact that the media plays a pivotal role in informing Consumers and Zambians at large especially on matters that are core to the growth of Zambia’s economy.
Thus, CCPC wishes to urge the general public and the media that information relating to findings obtained from the raid will be communicated to them when investigations are concluded.
However, CCPC would like to acknowledge that the content of the press statement by Lafarge was true as the company was compliant with all investigation proceedings at the time of the raid.
CCPC Cautions the Public against Online Notification Prize Scam.
2020-01-16The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) would like to warn the general public to be cautious of the false Coca-Cola/British Tobacco South Africa official notification prize which is circulating online requesting Consumers to submit their personal information.
According to the Commission’s preliminary investigation, the scam indicates that Coca-Cola in collaboration with the British American Tobacco South Africa Company had conducted an annual draw on 25th November, 2019 which involved a random selection of 20 winners for a prize of £50,000 each, out of over 250,000 emails collected worldwide from individuals and corporate bodies respectively.
CCPC has discovered that the notification in question is untrue and that there is no such draw which was conducted by the Coca-Cola/British Tobacco South Africa contrary to what the scam purports.
Thus, CCPC is warning all Zambians to consider withholding their personal details by ensuring that they ascertain the authenticity of any online notification before they give out their details as failure to do so may expose them to internet scams and fraudsters.
Consumers should also ensure that information such as their age, sex, name, address, contact number, country and occupation are kept as confidential as possible.
CCPC also wishes to warn all individuals or enterprises who are in a habit of perpetuating the dissemination of content aimed at misleading consumers to desist from such conduct as that is punishable by law.
CCPC has further notified the National Consumer Commission of South Africa (NCC) over the matter in order to raise awareness and ensure that the South African citizenry is protected from such fraudulent conduct.
CCPC currently investigating Cement price increase
2020-01-09The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) would like to inform the general public that it has been investigating the recent simultaneous increases in the prices of cement in the country contrary to media reports that it has remained mute while cement producers hike prices and exploit consumers.
CCPC advises that it has been actively monitoring the prices of cement over six months. Our cement price surveillance has revealed that a bag of cement is currently trading between K95 to K100 across all brands. The Commission is concerned with the collective and synchronized increase in the price of cement.
However, the Commission is alive to the fact that the price of electricity and fuel has increased and will take due consideration of this factor in its investigations.
The Commission is however disappointed with stakeholders that continue to rush to the media to make ill-informed comments on matters under active investigation to a point of jeopardizing such investigations. Cartel investigations are criminal in nature and require painstaking evidence to prove violation of the law beyond reasonable doubt but when there are comments by stakeholders, it places suspects on high alert thereby compromising prospects of making meaningful headway.
We would like to encourage all stakeholders with information regarding collusion in any sector of the economy to always bring it to the Commission first.
CCPC fines MATCUS Driving School for Unfair Trading Practices
2019-12-20The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) Board of Commissioners has fined MATCUS Driving School 1.5 percent of their annual turnover for unfair conduct exhibited against its customers.
CCPC Director Consumer Protection, Mr. Brian Lingela has disclosed that the driving school was fined following an investigation by the Commission which revealed repeated consumer complaints in which the school utilizes false and misleading advertisements which were meant to attract more customers to acquire driving services when the company had no capacity to supply the said services.
Mr. Lingela stated that the Board of Commissioners found that MATCUS Driving School advertised and collected money in form of payments for driving lessons from unsuspecting members of the public on the pretext that the driving lessons would be conducted on manual transmission vehicles when in fact not. The school has also been in the habit of providing automatic transmission vehicles to customers who had paid for manual transmission vehicles when conducting practical lessons.
In its investigations, the Commission found that MATCUS Driving School had exhibited consistent failure to provide driving lessons as per the agreed schedules and timetables with the clients. The investigations have also established that Instructors from MATCUS Driving School would agree to offer lessons on weekends but would be unavailable at
the agreed times and places and would sometimes not respond to the clients’ phone calls.
The Commission notes that this conduct has been consistent as observed from consumer complaints received against the said driving school in the period between 2013 and 2019. The Commission has also established that MATCUS Driving School presently does not own any vehicles, manual or automatic transmission and that since 2016, the company has been operating illegally and without a license from the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA).
The Commission has thus found MATCUS Driving School to have contravened Sections 46(1) as read together with Sections 45(a) and (b); Section 47(a)(i) and Section 49(5) of the Competition and Consumer Protection (CCPA) Act No. 24 of 2010 which prohibits unfair trading practices and relates to false or misleading representation.
In this light, the Commission wishes to warn all driving schools in the country to be compliant with the law by ensuring that they desist from engaging in such unfair trading practices as providing false or misleading information to consumers.
Consumers who intend to access driving lessons from any driving school are urged not to be in a hurry to pay money but to consider shopping around to check and verify the authenticity of their service provider if they are to attain value for their money.