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04 Apr 2011 09:54
The Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti) much-vaunted Consumer Protection Act came into effect last week, giving consumers a whole new level of protection (we’re already the most protected consumers in the world, by the way).
Smart Money tackles some of your questions about the CPA.
According to Candice Holland, associate director at Deloitte, this register won’t come into effect until the minister declares it operative, in order to set up the most comprehensive register possible. It will need to incorporate a significant amount of info, so it’s not ready to be rolled out just yet. As such, it’s status quo for now.
What about the consumer courts that hear your complaint for free? According to Holland, there are Provincial Consumer Offices in each of the provinces—their contact details are on the dti website and the eventual aim is to have a Provincial Consumer Court in each province.
“If a company isn’t compliant with the regulations to the CPA right now, the Commissioner will probably be reasonable,” says Holland. “It’s reasonable to start enforcing regulations after six months or so, so companies probably have until then to get up to speed.”
The Office of the Consumer Protection is now known as the National Consumer Commission (NCC). Consumers can lodge complaints with the new NCC on this number: 0860 266 786 or you can send a fax to 0861 515 259.
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