Unfair trading practices consumers? Say no to “No Exchange, No Returns”

Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS)-International is saddened by the continuous violation of consumer rights by some business outlets. This is despite outlets being urged to conform to the accepted and allowed trading practices stipulated under the Competition and Fair Trading Act of 1994 of Zambia.

CUTS recently visited a number of reputable supermarkets in Lusaka and found posters on counters written “No Exchange, No Returns”. This is a very sad development as it is a violation of consumer rights. A business enterprise of such nature should not be tolerated or entertained.

The phrase “No Return, No Exchange,” is a violation because the law provides that consumers may return or exchange products or seek of remedies in case of hidden faults or defects. By the provision of law sellers are obligated to honour their implied warranties and grant corresponding remedies to consumers.

Consumers need to alert relevant authorities such as the Zambia Competition Commission (ZCC) whenever they come across such (“No Returns, No Exchange“ ) practices which are uncompetitive and border on violation of both consumer rights and the existing laws.

Consumers should further note that the only time a product cannot be returned is when it was bought in good condition and without any defect. However, if the product has a defect, consumers are entitled to either exchange or refund. It is thus important that consumers also demanded for the receipts whenever they buy any item as this would help the consumer make their claims.

CUTS further takes this opportunity to urge the Zambia Competition Commission (ZCC) and other relevant authorities mandated to safeguard the plight of consumers to mete out stiff punishment to any business house flouting trading practices and violating consumer rights.

This intervention by CUTS- international is aimed at informing and educating consumers on the right to return substandard or defective goods or demand for remedies. Consumers have every right to return substandard or defective products they might have bought.

Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International is a non-governmental organisation which works in such areas as trade and development, competition policy, investment regulation and consumer protection.