FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR CONSUMERS
What is Fair Trading Commission?
The Commission is a body corporate, established under section 3 (1) of the Fair Trading Commission Act 2009 (FTC Act) to enforce any written laws relating to consumer protection and fair competition.
What are the functions of the Board of Commissioners?
Appointed by the President of the Republic under section 5 (1) of the FTC Act after the submission of an investigation report in respect of infringements of the CPA, by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Board shall convene a hearing under section 9 (1) of the CPA. In accordance with section 42 (1) of the FTC Act, at conclusion of a hearing, the Board shall make such orders as it may consider appropriate, shall state its decision and shall state the time within which the order is to be complied with. Within one month of giving a decision, the decision shall be published in writing alongside supporting reasons for the decision.
What is the function of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)?
The CEO is appointed by the President of the Republic under section 20 of the FTC Act and is responsible to the Board of Commission for the administration of all legislations under the jurisdiction of the Commission and for the supervision of staff and work of the Commission.
How will the Commission enforce the Act?
In terms of section 4 of the CPA the Commission is empowered to:
• Initiate or receive complaints concerning alleged prohibited conduct and deal with those complaints in accordance with the provisions of the CPA
• Investigate and evaluate complaints or alleged prohibited conducts and offences
• Issue and enforce compliance notices
• Accept and enforce undertakings
• Conduct hearings and issue notices and orders
• Impose remedies or financial penalties
• Impose fees
• Monitor the consumer market to ensure that prohibited conduct or offences are prevented, detected and prosecuted.
What is a complaint?
A complaint comprises of an allegation that consumer’s rights under the CPA have been infringed, impaired or threatened or that prohibited conduct has occurred or is occurring. Such complaint may be submitted in any manner or form. However, for official purposes, the Commission encourages consumers to submit complaints by completing the Consumer Complaint Form which can be downloaded at the following link: http://www.ftc.sc/index.php/consumer-protection/consumer-complaints
Who can lodge a Complaint?
Under the CPA a consumer who is lodging a complaint is a person who
• Has purchased goods for private use or consumption and not for the purpose of resale, or in the production or in the manufacturing of other goods;
• Has acquired services from a supplier in the ordinary course of the supplier’s business
A consumer may therefore be a business consumer should the transaction fall within the CPA.
Against whom may a complaint be lodged?
A complaint may be lodged against any person, who is carrying on any commercial activity for gain or reward, including any trade or profession and the activities of professional or trade association or a public body. A person whom a complaint is lodged against is referred to as the respondent.