Consumer Protection Act - Enforcement Guidelines
The DTI have finally published the final guidelines for enforcement which provides guidance and clarity with regard to how the CPA will be enforced.
These guidelines deal with issues such as:
- what is a complaint;
- who can lodge a complaint;
- whom can a complaint be lodged against;
- what kind of matters can the National Consumer Commission deal with and what not; and
- other guidelines and procedures with regard to resolving a complaint.
With regards to conciliation the guidelines provide for the following mediation methods that may be employed by officials in Complaints Handling :
- telephonic mediation;
- written mediation; and
- face to face conciliation.
This diversification of mediation methods will make it a lot easier for consumers to have their matters attended to and their complaint investigated.
The purpose of the guidelines are to:
- To promote an understanding of Conciliation by the NCC
- To inform parties in a dispute of the policies and procedures of Conciliation under the auspices of the NCC.
- To prescribe the powers and functions of the Conciliator.
- To guide Conciliators in the performance of their functions.
In essence they will give consumers, suppliers and conciliators guidance as to the implementation of the CPA. If you still have not had a fresh look at your documents, policies and way you do business in light of the CPA you must do so now, before you become the subject of such a process or investigation.
Start by making all your communications in plain language and ensuring that you know how the CPA affects your day-to-day business so that you can align your business with the requirements of the Act.
Should you require a copy of the guidelines please do not hesitate to contact our offices.