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- Create Date July 15, 2021
- Last Updated September 21, 2021
Dear CGSO Stakeholders
The Consumer Goods and Services Ombud (CGSO) notes with serious concern the ongoing acts of looting and property vandalism that is currently taking place in our country. The disruptions to the supply chain will have a negative impact on suppliers’ ability to meet their contractual obligations with regards to the delivery of goods and services to consumers. It is anticipated that there will also be delays in the delivery of online purchases that consumers have already paid for, and this might cause great anxiety and frustration.
We have every sympathy for consumers who are experiencing inconveniences due to this unfortunate crisis and appeal that they exercise patience. We urge consumers to allow suppliers of goods & services the opportunity to regroup in the wake of the unprecedented events of the past 48 hours. The Consumer Protection Act requires suppliers of goods and services to take reasonable steps to inform consumers of the shortage of stock or capacity to deliver goods and services as soon as it is practicably possible under the specific circumstances. It is therefore important for suppliers to issue communication to their customers informing them of any delays and advising of alternatives. They also need to communicate channels through which consumers can enquire about the delivery of their goods or services.
Ms Queen Munyai, the CEO commended CGSO Participants as well as suppliers in general, who have started communicating with consumers and offering alternative arrangements. She appealed to suppliers who have not communicated to do so as soon as possible, especially where there are delays in delivery, unavailability of goods, or unavailability of returns and refunds facilities due to outlets being closed or vandalized.
We appeal to consumers to be reasonable and take cognisance that suppliers’ response times may temporarily be compromised. As a result, consumers are urged to exercise their discretion and allow the situation to normalize before submitting a formal complaint to the Consumer Goods & Services Ombud’s office.