The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) ordered Game discount World (Malawi) limited, popularly known as Game stores to cease and desist from publishing misleading adverts.
At its 38th meeting held on 31st January, 2014 the Commission heard that Game discount World (Malawi) advertised discounted prices for Seagate external hard drives of capacity 1TB from 19-22 September 2013. However, customers who turned up when the promotion started were told that this item was not in stock. Similarly, discounted prices for external hard drives of capacity 1 TB and 2 TB were also advertised for the promotion run from 26 September to 6 October 2013. Yet when the promotion started on 26 September, these items were also reported to be out of stock.
The Competition and Fair Trading Commission ordered Malawi Savings Bank to cease and desist from publishing misleading adverts. The order was made by the Commission at its 38th meeting held on 31st January 2014.
Investigations by the Commission established that MSB published an advert in one of the local media extending warehouse receipt credit facilities to traders who deposited their commodities for sale at the Auction Holdings Commodity Exchange (AHCX). The bank therefore invited traders who did not have an account with MSB to open an account so that they could access the credit facility.
The Commission initiated investigations into trading practices by PTC following allegations that the price displays in Metro Shops in Lilongwe City Centre and Old Town were misleading. It was alleged that there were two price displays for most products sold in the two shops.
After investigations, the Commission established that Metro was providing discounted prices for bulky purchases without stating why the prices were different. Each product has two price tags – the first for single or unit purchases (normally higher) while the second was a reduced price for bulky purchases.
On its own volition, the Commission launched investigations into alleged unfair trading practices by Blantyre Water Board. This followed the implementation by Blantyre Water Board of a new policy of delayed reconnection whereby water consumers whose supply was disconnected due to non-payment of outstanding bills would only be reconnected after three days despite payment of the outstanding balance and penalty.
During investigations, Blantyre Water Board failed to demonstrate any efficiency gains from the new policy of delayed reconnection except subjecting consumers to further embarrassment. The Commission noted that as a public monopoly with excessive market power, the Board has a special responsibility to ensure fair trade by being fair and extra sensitive to consumers. This special responsibility includes fairness in its dealings bearing in mind that the people it serves have no other alternatives.