If you are, we would like to draw your attention to benefiting your business by promoting fair business practices and creating peace of mind for your customers.
What/Who is the Consumer Goods and Services ombud?
The “CGSO” is the independent ombud scheme for the Consumer Goods and Services industry that is set up in accordance with and accredited in terms of section 82 of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (the “CPA”), which came into effect on 30 March 2015. Together with the Consumer Goods and Services Code of Conduct (“Code”), it is established to guide the industry as to the minimum standards of the conduct that is expected from this industry when engaging with Consumers. One of their biggest roles are dispute resolutions in the industry. This Code is drafted by the industry for the industry.
What is the purpose of the Code?
- Regulating interactions and complaints in the industry;
- Raising standards of good conduct;
- Increasing certainty for both you and your costumers;
- Offering guidance and educating participating suppliers in the compliance with the CPA and fair business practices.
Who does this apply to?
If you are a supplier of goods or services to consumers, and you do not fall under another regulating body, you are considered a supplier. In terms of the Code you are then known as a “participant”. Adhering to the Code is then mandatory. Industries that are specifically excluded are the motor vehicle industry, organs of state and financial institutions – which have their own regulating bodies.
What should I do?
As a participant, you are required to register under the CGSO and obliged to pay the annual participating fee. If your annual turnover regarding goods and services, are less than R1 million, there is no fee, should your turnover be between R1 and R5 million, the fee is R1680,00 per year, with the highest fee being R200 000,00 for a turnover of over R3 billion.
When you register, you have to set up an effective complaints handling process and you will have to train your staff on the CPA, the Code and your own procedures. The requirements of the Code are enforceable by law and failure to comply may constitute a contravention of the CPA.
What’s in it for me?
Once you are complaint with the Code, you will not have to fear to have a dispute arising against you. You will be listed a participant on the CGSO’s website, entitled to display the CGSO-logo and be noted as a business that follow minimum standards of conduct. Would you not want to do business with such an entity?
The CGSO has brought an application in the High Court in Gauteng to demand suppliers to register and demand payment of the annual fees. Be pro-active and register now! We at Greeff Attorneys are here to assist you in preparing your business’ Internal Complaints-Handling Process and training your staff to effectively handle complaints on your behalf.
Disclaimer: The material contained in this document is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage which may arise from reliance on information contained in this article.