COMPETITION and Consumer Protection Commission in Eastern Province says consumers are vulnerable to unfair practices by traders who do not give them correct information about products they purchase.
In an interview in Sinda on Saturday after a sensitisation programme, provincial CCPC investigator Emmanuel Zulu said the motive to maximise profit by a trader puts the consumer at a disadvantage.
“We as CCPC realise that consumers are vulnerable to unfair practices by traders. You will understand that the motive of a trader is to maximise profit as much as possible hence they don’t know that they are engaged in vices that are detrimental to the customer or client,” Zulu said
“Customers are made to buy and pay for a product that a trader knows will not serve the intended purpose, without a customer knowing the defects of the product…”
He noted that consumers were often given false information of a product.
Zulu warned that giving false information to a consumer about a product was a serious crime under the Laws of Zambia.
He urged traders to make amends whenever complaints about product purchases from them were raised.
Zulu noted that common products like butter, cooking oil, groceries and some consumables were often sold without proper packaging and had no expiry dates.
“That is why as a commission, we are providing sensitisation programmes through road shows to ensure consumers and traders are aware and conduct their businesses effectively,” he said.
Zulu said commodities sold in remote communities were highly compromised.
He said the commission had come up with programmes to sensitise chiefs and their subjects.
And addressing Sinda residents, Zulu said it would be difficult for the commission to intervene if the customer did not obtained a receipt for purchased products.
District council health inspector Golden Mwanza said they had seized items worth K5,365 from January to date, of which 80 per cent were expired, 10 per cent defective and 10 per cent unlabelled.
Mwanza urged consumers to be careful as buying and consuming expired products put their health at risk.