Citizen is a column that explains how the government’s policies fucks citizens and how we can unfuck ourselves.
On the 8th of February, Nigerian Twitter users got talking about some of their worst online purchases. While the topic might have been specific to clothing, this conversation continues to make the rounds and honestly, we are also tired of seeing people’s hearts get broken when they receive products they paid for. And while it is annoying when we unintentionally purchase a bad product, what is even more aggravating is when the retailers of that product refuse to take responsibility and we aren’t sure of the right governmental bodies to lay our complaints to. We have all been there at some point. From poor customer service experiences to chasing a vendor around for a much-deserved refund or vendors who harass customers for making complaints online.
The streets stay wild, so this is why we have decided to bring you five things you need to know about the options available to protect your rights as a consumer in Nigeria. This is so you are more informed about what laws cover your consumer rights and to know what to do when a vendor moves mad.
- The FCCPC Is The Agency Charged With Protecting Your Consumer Rights
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission describe itself as “the foremost competition and consumer protection authority in Nigeria.” Set up in 2018, the commission is responsible for developing and bolstering fair, efficient, and competitive markets in the Nigerian economy while ensuring all Nigerians have access to safe products and their rights as consumers are duly protected.
- You Can Report Anything From A Bad Cake Order To A Ripped Dress To The Commission
If you pay for a service or product in Nigeria, the FCCPC is designed to attend to any violations you might experience as a consumer. If you have been sold fake or sub-par products or denied service, experienced an unexplained price hike, been misled by a product description, or received poor customer service, amongst other violations, you can report these cases to the FCCPC. According to the website, “a complaint must be made to the provider of products or services and then to FCCPC as soon as possible after the right has been breached, especially within the warranty period.”
- You Can File A Complaint Online
Thankfully (and unlike most processes in Nigeria) you can file a complaint on an issue via the FCCPC’s complaint form. You are required to click on the category your complaint falls under, enter your complaint title, write your complaint, select the company and location, write how much is involved, and attach any picture or video evidence you have.
- You Can Easily Track The Progress Of Your Complaint
After you have submitted your complaint, you can certainly check to see if your case is being attended to. While some cases take a day to reach a resolution, some can take up to 45 days or more, depending on the nature of your complaint and whether or not other stakeholders might be involved in resolving your case. It is also vital that you provide accurate information concerning your complaint to make the process easier to process.
- The Commission Currently Has Offices In Select Locations Across Nigeria
If for some reason, you do not have the chill to make a complaint online, the FCCPC has offices in Abuja, Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Awka, Osogbo, Minna, Bauchi, Katsina, and Kano. So if you ever need to go and cause trouble, we hope you know where to go now and whether or not they are in your city.
So yes, making a what I ordered vs what I received post or gathering your friends to subtweet a badly behaved vendor is nice, but we bet it would be nicer to report to a body that will actually do something about your bad purchase experience.