Complaints and Resolution of Disputes Petroleum Sector
EWURA attends to complaints against a supplier of regulated goods or services in relation to any matter connected with the supply, possible supply or proposed supply of goods or services. There is a dedicated unit, under Director of Legal Division which receives and follow up complaints from consumers of regulated goods and services. The Unit which was established under Section 34 of EWURA Act Cap 414 is known as Customer Service.
The major underlying policy on consumer complaints handling procedure centers on:
- Consumer Protection- The need for service providers to provide reliable, quality and affordable goods or services;
- Preference to amicable complaints settlement procedure as opposed to litigation;
- Having a speedier, just and less bureaucratic complaints handling procedure.
Filing a complaint:
- Any person (consumer) may file a complaint;
- EWURA CCC or an authorized representative;
- A group of people may file a complaint attaching the following documents:
– List of names and signatures;
– Minutes of the meeting with a resolution to file a complaint;
– name/s of representative/s and contact.
Complaints should be reported within a specified time limit which will enable service provider to be accountable. A complaint lodged after the time limit will not be considered, hence consumer end up losing their right to quality service or goods. The main reason for setting time limit is to enable the Authority to act in time, to collect evidence which will help in resolving the matter with integrity.
In January 2013 The Authority has set up Rules on Consumer Complaints Settlement Procedure, GN. No. 10 of 2013. (To be linked) to be applied in handling complaints. Limitation periods are based on the nature of complaint as indicated below:
|NATURE OF COMPLAIN||PERIOD OF LIMITATION|
|Sell or supply of Off Specification Petroleum Products||seven days|
|Sell or supply of Petroleum Product above the Cap Price||six months|
The Authority issue guidelines to Consumers on how to initiate a complaint, the rights and obligation of consumer and how to fill a Complaint Form. The Authority maintains a Complaint Register (To be linked) for all regulated sectors.
Since commencement of receiving complaints and hearing disputes, the Authority registered about 160 complaints from petroleum consumers. Overall 91% of the total complaints received, were resolved. The nature of the complaints in the petroleum sub sector were ranging from adulteration and selling products which did not meet quality standards (67%), selling above cap prices (20%) and supplied with less volume (13%). Only one complaint was escalated to hearing stage.