Please note that this pertains to South African legislation.
Following on from last time, let’s have a look at some more of the “how-to” around the raising of a complaint, process. We have covered the different types of complaints as well as a broad outline of the process of the complaint. Now let’s have a look at “where to complain”.
Part of the “intent” of the CPA is to promote “consumer activism” and this is done by getting consumer groups to lodge complaints on behalf of the consumers. These various groups obviously need to be properly accredited (because they would need to be properly trained) and they would therefore also be able to give proper support too, or advice as well as educate consumers about what they are protected against and also the role that consumers need to take on, to make the CPA successful. These consumer groups would also be responsible for publications on the subject, as well as do the research and they would then be tasked with “alternative dispute resolution through mediation or conciliation.”
As a result of this and in compliance with the ACT, the National Consumer Commission was established. This body is responsible to investigate consumer complaints, pretty much like the National Consumer Tribunal was established by the National Credit Act, to investigate the violations and transgressors of the ACT.
Currently, there are several ways to lay the complaint. These are, (but not limited to):-
1. The DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) – customer contact centre: 0861 843 384
2. The DTI office of Consumer Protection (OCP): 012 394 1439/1558/1076
4. Website: The DTI website address is www.thedti.gov.za
Next time we will have a look at some more useful contact information.