HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT TO THE ZAMBIA BUREAU OF STANDARDS
ZABS AND THE CONSUMER
The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry is empowered to prohibit or restrict the use of any commodity in the interest of public safety, if found to be defective or dangerous. The commodity so declared as defective or dangerous shall be withdrawn from distribution and recalled by the supplier at the supplier’s cost and the affected customer (s) compensated. In this vein, the Bureau (ZABS) shall presume that all the manufacturers and traders will endeavour to produce and sell products that are safe for the public. In addition, these goods/ services shall be produced/ sold with an assurance to the buyer that they have been manufactured under a strict quality control/ quality assurance system.
How to Lodge a Complaint
The Bureau expects that the consumer would have already complained to the product/ service provider before approaching ZABS. This is in consideration that the supplier might be willing to redress the situation forthwith.
Consumers can lodge complaints by fax, e-mail, letter or phone or in person (walk in).
What Information to give in the Complaint
- Personal Details of the Complaint:
- Postal address
- Contact telephone/ fax numbers
- E-mail address
- Complaint Details:
- The nature of the complaint
- Scope of the complaint
- The manufacturer/ product provider
- Relief sought by complainant
- Status and feedback from the manufacturer/ trader
- Date and time when product/ service was purchased/ acquired
- Any documents showing proof of ownership/ purchase
- Any other information deemed relevant to the complaint
Note: All information on complaints shall be maintained in a Customer Complaints Ledger.
PROCESSING OF COMPLAINTSUpon determining the scope and nature of the complaint, the Bureau shall make appropriate follow-ups with the trader/ supplier being complained against, from whom a reasonable response must be obtained within reasonable time ( 2 days).
If the scope and nature of the complaint is not ZABS jurisdiction, the complaint shall be referred to the appropriate regulatory institution(s) for redress, such as Zambia Competition Commission, communications Authority, Public Health Department, Energy Regulation Board, Environmental Council of Zambia, Zambia Weights & Measures Agency, to mention but a few.
After making its independent findings, the Bureau shall determine the merit of the complaint. In this vein, the ZABS Inspector/ Officer handling the complaint will make appropriate recommendation (s).
In certain instances, ZABS shall summon the parties involved in person or be represented by agent/ legal counsel or any competent representative.
CLOSURE OF COMPLAINT
Upon reaching an amicable settlement between parties involved, the Bureau shall write a report on the proceedings and issue a copy each to the complainant and the product/ service provider being complained against.
If, however, the dispute remains unresolved after the necessary follow-ups and subsequent meetings, the Bureau shall generate a full report of the proceedings and make recommendations to the Standards Council Technical Committee.
Subsequently, the complaint should reach the Standards Council of Zambia.
The Standards Council will, if deemed necessary, hold a hearing on the complaint or base its decision on the recommendations in the report.
The Standards Council's decision will be ultimate and should be adhered to by both parties, with the option of taking the matter to the Courts of Law.