Lockdown; Consumers complain about failed electronic transactions, others — FCCPC



Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission says it has received a lot of complaints from consumers on issues bordering on failed electronic banking transactions and slow speed of Internet connectivity within the period of lockdown.

It also said it received complaints about arbitrary charges.

The commission said this in a statement issued on Wednesday and signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Babatunde Irukera.

Irukera in the statement said other complaints received by the commission were about restricted access or delayed signal release after payment for payTV services; excessive increases in prices of certain medical devices such as infrared thermometers, sanitizers, face masks, chloroquine and Vitamin C.

He added that complaints were received on increase in prices of food items and insufficient supply of electricity and arbitrary billing.

He said the commission’s current operational priorities centred on addressing key competition and consumer protection issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said, “The commission notes that the prevalent complaints are failed electronic banking transactions and associated delays in restoration.

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“Although some suppliers and retailers have demonstrated circumspection in compliance with the commission’s release, as well as enforcement efforts, some others have taken advantage of the current restriction of movement to unfairly increase prices in an unreasonable manner.”

The FCCPC boss said the commission was already pressing criminal charges against some flagrant violators and was expanding investigation into other players and industries.

He said, “The commission restates its determination including retrospectively after the pandemic to hold violators to the appropriate weight of the law.”

He said the commission had created a dedicated platform for the pandemic-related complaints.

Irukera said the commission was operating with limited capacity to address the barrage of complaints and recognised that many industry players were experiencing similar limitations.

He said the commission would continue to encourage producers and providers to prioritise compliance with consumer protection laws and responsiveness to their customers.

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