No Refund after Payment: Unknown to Our Jurisdiction

INTRODUCTION:

The CAVEAT: “NO REFUND AFTER PAYMENT” often used by business institutions, airlines, motor parks, etc among others is strange, unknown and contrary to our Jurisprudence.

The “no refund policy” is mostly used by service providers to prevent returning payments made to them by their clients which is in gross violation of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018.

It may interest you the most, to read the following story gotten from TEKEDIA:

On the 10th of February, 2021, one Mr. Patrick Chukwuma was traveling and he decided to make use of the Peace Mass Transit (a Nigerian renowned transport company) for this trip.

He purchased a ticket for the trip and due to the unavailability of passengers and other travelers, Mr. Chukwuma was forced to wait for hours for the vehicle to fill up.

He got tired of waiting for the vehicle to fill up so he changed his mind about the trip and asked for a refund for the ticket fee he had purchased since he no longer wants to embark on the journey due to the time wasted.

The company’s ticketing officers clearly told him that they don’t refund money after a customer had purchased a ticket. They drew his attention to the caveat behind the vehicle ticket slip which emphasized the company’s no refund policy. The caveat reads: “no refund of money after payment”.

The passenger insisted that his money should be refunded to him. A heated argument ensued between the passenger and the Peace Mass transit company staff became rude and nasty to the passenger and they rained insults on him and those that are in support of him getting a refund and at the verge of physically assaulting him before the passenger decided to leave the scene but promised that the company will hear from him subsequently and he must be refunded his money.

Coincidentally, the passenger Mr. Patrick Chukwuma is a lawyer and with his knowledge of the law, he is aware that the company’s no refund policy contravenes relevant sections of the law and he decided to take the transport company to court to determine and enforce his rights.

The sole issue for determination was “whether the Peace Mass Transit company policy of “no refund of money after payment” is in violation of Section 120 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2018 especially when the contractual obligation to convey the Plaintiff to his preferred location was terminated”.

He prayed the court to declare that the no refund of money after payment rule of the Transport company and other companies who enforces this policy contravenes the relevant sections of the law especially s 120 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act of 2018 which ambiguously provides that, “ A customer shall have the right to return any advance booking, reservations order for any goods or services subject to a reasonable charge for the cancellation of the order or reservation by the supplier or service provider”.

Delivering its judgment, the High Court in Enugu through his Lordship Hon. Justice C.O. Ajah declared the no refund policy is unlawful, illegal, null, and void in light of the provisions of Sections 120, 104, 129 (1) (a) and (b) (iii) of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018.

The court further ordered the transport company to pay the sum of N500,000 as damages to the Plaintiff.

By the implication of this recent judgment, every seller, vendor (both online vendors), service provider, etc who insist on the “no refund of money after payment” is engaging in an unlawful and illegal sales policy.

The no refund after payment policy has been stated by the court in line with the FCCP ACT, 2018 to be unlawful, illegal, null, and void.

I hereby enjoin all consumers of any product or service to kindly know their rights.

M.B. KUCHICHI
LL.B 5, University of Maiduguri


Share:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.