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July 22 , 2008 / Punch


The Consumer Protection Council on Tuesday declared the “Refresh and Recharge†sales promotion being run by the Nigerian Bottling Company as fraudulent.


Consequently, the agency has directed the bottling giant to discontinue the promotion and its advertisement forthwith to avoid untoward consequences, just as it advised consumers to be wary of the antics of the promoters of the package.


The CPC, in a statement signed by the Assistant Director of Public Relations, Mr. Abiodun Obimuyiwa, noted that it had been inundated with complaints from consumers on the perceived dubious nature of the promotion.


It added that despite its earlier correspondence to the firm on the problems associated with the redemption of the prizes, nothing meaningful was done to redress the situation with a view to ensuring that the promotion was honest, transparent and sincere.


The council, in a letter to NBC, recalled its earlier correspondence on the same issue, claiming that “incidentally, after the above mentioned letter, the council has been inundated with other numerous complaints alleging that the redemption of this product has been impossible, thereby resulting in loss of funds to them.â€ÂÂÂÂÂ


It noted that, “As the agency charged with the responsibility of protecting the rights of consumers in all areas of products and services, we can not remain indifferent to this seeming exploitation of innocent consumers.


“This is more so that Section 12 (b) of the Consumer Protection Act No. 66 of 1992, makes it an offence punishable under the Act for any person to contravene this Act by providing any service or proffering any information or advertisement, thereby causing injury or loss to a consumer.â€ÂÂÂÂÂ


The council, therefore, directed the bottling company “to discontinue the product forthwith and immediately stop any further advertisement in same regard to avoid any untoward consequence.â€ÂÂÂÂÂ


Speaking on the development, the Director-General, CPC, Mrs. Ify Umenyi, said the directive became inevitable to curb further exploitation of Nigerian consumers by the bottling company, noting that manufacturers and service providers should refrain from insulting the intelligence of consumers.


Explaining further, Umenyi said that the predisposition of some businesses to shortchange consumers when not properly regulated, informed the decision of the council to register and monitor all sales promotions in the country.


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