The Travel Agents Association of Malawi (Taam) has withdrawn a recommendation it made earlier on to its members on service fees as ordered by the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC).
In a press statement issued on Tuesday signed by the association’s interim president Ken Banda, Taam advises its members that it has withdrawn the recommendation on both minimum and maximum charges in response to an order issued by the CFTC.
Early August, the CFTC ordered the recommendations on charges that travel agents made was in contravention of fair trading practices, but on Tuesday Taam told members to be free to set their own service fees and according to the cost of providing the requested services.
“The association would like to clarify that these were not set to contravene the Competition and Fair Trading Act but to guide and bring discipline to its members and to bring and to ensure that they do not operate at a loss and at the same time to ensure customers protection.
“The minimum service fees that the association had set as a guide to the travel trade are, therefore, to be discontinued forthwith. Each agent will have to come up with their own structure of service fees as a result of the CFTC order,” said Banda.
The CFTC in a statement issued on July 31 2013 and signed by its executive director Charlotte Malonda, the consumer protection body found Taam in violation of the Competition and Fair Trading Act which among other things prohibits associations from making recommendations directly or indirectly to its members or any class of its members which relate to prices.
The CFTC, therefore, ordered Taam to cease and desist from engaging in such, with immediate effect and that Taam should issue a public withdrawal of the said recommendations within 14 days from the date of receiving the order.