Published by KEMILEMBE D. BARONGO
The Fair Competition Commission has issued a notice to remind all service providers about compliance with the Standard Form (Consumer Contracts) Regulations 2014. The regulations set clear standards for consumer contracts to protect consumers from misleading market conduct and to promote effective competition in trade and commerce.
In a nutshell, standard consumer contracts are contracts with terms that provide little or no opportunity for consumers to negotiate with the provider of goods or services. This kind of contracts set out unfair bargaining terms that favor the one with the higher bargaining power, in this context the supplier.
The Fair Competition Commission has the exclusive mandate to review and register standard form contracts. Through the notice all service providers (manufacturers, suppliers, sellers, service providers and operators) are reminded that they should submit the consumer contracts currently in use for registration and review and all violators of the regulations shall be penalized.
An indicative list of unfair terms that are prohibited are provided in regulation 37 of the Standard Form (Consumer Contracts) Regulations 2014. Examples include terms that exclude or limit the legal rights of the consumer or restrict claims against producers. They are commonly found in receipts where terms such as “Goods once sold cannot be returned!” are used.
Complaint mechanisms are also provided for all those whose rights have been infringed by service providers, they can file their complaints with the FCC through the complaint forms in their website. And all the infringers of the standard form consumer contracts shall be penalized as stated in the law through payment of a fine up to five million shillings.