Consumer Claims Tribunal (MCCT) - Knowledgeable Consumers on the Rise

 
MALAYSIAN consumers are getting smarter. With the increasing purchasing power among Malaysians, more and more consumers are becoming wiser in accounting for every single sen spent.


This conclusion is derived from the increasing number of cases heard by the Malaysian Consumer Claims Tribunal. More people are turning to the tribunal for help as they are more aware of its effectiveness and their right as consumers.

Tribunal for Consumer Claims Malaysia (MCCT) / Tribunal Tuntutan Pengguna Malaysia (TTPM) is an independent body established under Section 85, Part XII of the Consumer Protection Act 1999. The Tribunal operates under the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism. The primary objective of the Tribunal for Consumer Claims is to provide an alternative redress mechanism, apart from the courts, for a consumer to claim for any loss suffered (in respect of any goods or services purchased or acquired) in a less cumbersome, speedy manner and at a minimal cost.

The claims it can hear include false representation and misleading claims with regards to manufacturing process, quality and quantity.


Who is a Consumer?
Generally a consumer means a person who buys goods and services for his personal use or for domestic or household purpose.
Legally the term ‘consumer’ means a person who :
  a) acquires or uses goods or services of a kind ordinarily acquired for personal, domestic or household purpose, use or consumption; and
  b) does not acquire or use the goods or services, or hold himself out as acquiring or using the goods or services, primarily for the purpose of -
     i) resupplying them in trade;
     ii) consuming them in the course of a manufacturing process;
     iii) in the case of goods, repairing or treating, in trade, other goods or fixtures on land.


Consumers who feel that traders have given misleading impression on the price of goods can file their claims at the tribunal.


Instances of false representation include gift offers and prizes that traders have no intention of honouring.


Violation on safety standard of goods and services is also an offence which the tribunal can hear.


A claim can be filed at any tribunal office by filling up the claim form, which is available free of charge at all tribunal branches. It can also be downloaded from the e-Tribunal website at www.ttpm.kpdnkk.gov.my.


The filing fee for the form is only RM5. The law requires the tribunal to dispose of the claims within 60 days of the first hearing, but currently this tribunal is disposing of cases within 45 days of filing.

A consumer can file for claims up to RM25,000 and only cases within three years are eligible to be heard.
The guilty party has to pay the award to the claimant within 14 days upon the disposal of the case, failing which he is liable to a fine of up to RM5,000 or jail of two years, or both.

MCCT serves as a mediator to dissatisfied consumers and traders through the judicial system of court hearing, has been serving as a 'people's court'. Although there are various non-governmental organisations for the public to vent their dissatisfaction through, MCCT is the only body which can solve the problem between a consumer and the trader through judicial means.

MCCT normally hears two categories of cases - on goods bought or services attained.

At the tribunal, most cases are solved through mutual understanding or negotiation. The judges act as mediators to listen to both sides. Upon that, the judge will make his decision and normally made to measure a win-win situation for both parties.

Before the tribunal, consumer claims against a supplier or manufacturer or service providers had to be taken to the civil court.


As procedures in civil court are more complex, cases will take a far longer time to be resolved at higher costs for the litigants.


As such, consumers are reluctant to file suits against traders in civil courts, especially if the amount involved is small.


The tribunal has the powers to make the following awards (orders), namely:


* that a party to the proceeding pays money to any other party;


* that goods be supplied or resupplied;


* that goods supplied or resupplied to the consumer be replaced or repaired;


* that the price or other consideration paid or supplied by the consumer or any other person be refunded to the consumer or that person;


* that a party complies with the guarantee;


* that money be awarded to compensate for any loss or damage suffered by the claimant;


* that the contract be varied or set aside, wholly or in part;


* that cost (not exceeding RM200) to or against any party be paid;


* that interest be paid on any sum or monetary award at a rate not exceeding eight per cent per annum; and,


* that the claim be dismissed.


Amendments were made recently to the Consumer Protection Act 1999 in relation to unfair contract terms in a consumer's standard form contract.


The amendments will give better protection to consumers in situations where unequal bargaining powers between consumers and suppliers exist.


Among the provisions are a provision which deals with procedural and substantive unfairness, a provision on the effect of unfair terms, a provision on burden of proof and a provision on executed contracts. The amendments are waiting to be gazetted.


While Malaysian consumers are becoming more savvy about their rights, there are some who still fall for scams while others do not know where to lodge a complaint.

Make traders/sellers and service providers a fair sales personnel, responsible merchants and service providers. Do not let them  fleece you when you purchase a defective product or bad services.


File  your complaint to: Consumer Claims Tribunal, 16th floor, Putra Place, 100 Jalan Putra, 50622 Kuala Lumpur; or call 03-40492300 or 03-40424181.

1 comment :

  1. Hello dear admin,
    How are you ?I think you are better.Also you are passing your everytime happily.I read your informative blog post.

    **Small disputes in Singapore are primarily handled through mediation in a small claims court. These disputes vary depending on the people concerned.

    Thanks
    Angelina Jukic
    Take Look at a glance: small claims tribunals

    ReplyDelete

Followers