MAKING A COMPLAINT
Receiving substandard goods or sub-par services is, unfortunately, something which every customer will have to go through at some point in time. Now, while the law in Nigeria might not be able to prevent it from happening, it can however provide recourse for you and a way to air your grievance and potentially get compensated whenever this occurs.
In Nigeria, there is a specific body that has been set up to help consumers deal with issues where companies have either provided poor service or they have sold substandard goods to the consumer. This organization is the Consumer Protection Council – CPC.
The CPC is an agency of the Government under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment. It commenced operations in Nigeria in 1999. The CPC has 5 primary functions –
- To inform consumers about their rights
- To eliminate hazardous products from the market and ensure that products and services comply with required standards/specifications
- To issue guidelines and regulations to producers of goods and services
- To prosecute offenders when and where necessary
- To provide redress to consumer complaints
So, all in all, the CPC is a pretty powerful agency, it is in fact the most powerful consumer redress and monitoring agency in Nigeria.
What things can you report to the CPC
The answer to this is – almost any and everything which is related to a product or service which you have paid for. Some industries have certain specific redress mechanisms, for instance in the Banking industry, complaints against banks should be the directed to the Central Bank of Nigeria. However, by and large the CPC is a catch all for most products and services.
So, if you think a company has acted unfairly toward you, you may report the company to the CPC. Examples of things you can report include:
- Instances when you were misled or tricked into buying a product or service
- Instances where you have been sold fake or substandard products
- Instances where you have received a poor level of service
How to report a complaint to the CPC
The CPC has set up an online form for consumers who want to make a complaint about a company. The information which you will have to provide are:
- Name of person making the complaint
- Contact Address
- Contact details – Mobile number and email address
- Name of the company you are complaining about
- Address of the company/branch you visited
- Contact details of the company
- Receipt No. of Product/Service (if you have one)
- Brief explanation of your complaint
- Brief explanation of the outcome you want (e.g. you want a refund, you want to exchange goods etc.)
You may complete the online complaint form here – CPC Online Complaint Form. If you are not comfortable completing an online form, and would need to talk the complaint through first, then the CPC has dedicated customer complaint lines which you can call. You may contact them on 08056002020, 08056003030, or by email on:email@example.com
What action will CPC take
The CPC will decide whether or not to investigate your complaint. If they do, they might contact you for more information or to back up your complaint with additional evidence.
The CPC may ask the company to refund any sums which you have paid for the product/service, replace ay defective goods with new ones, or may ask the company to pay compensation to the consumer for the hardship which he/she has had to endure.
So, next time you suffer from the shoddy service or substandard products provided by a company, do not be a statistic, take action by engaging the CPC to fight for your rights…and by the way, in case we failed to mention it…using the CPC is completely FREE!