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.