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Consumer Protection Act, 2008 (Act No. 68 of 2008)


South African Automotive Industry Code of Conduct

Part B : Alternative Dispute Resolution


Schedule 3 : Internal complaints handling guidelines


1. When dealing with complaints; customers, complainants and other interested parties should receive the following:
1.1 necessary information concerning the internal complaints-handling process applicable to the supplier;
1.2 any relevant MIOSA brochures and pamphlets.


2. All information must be provided in plain language and, where reasonably possible, in an accessible format to ensure that complainants are not disadvantaged by any format in which information is provided.


3. The following are examples of such information:
3.1 where complaints can be made;
3.2 how complaints can be made;
3.3 information to be provided by the complainant (see Schedule 5 for suggested format);
3.4 the process to be followed when handling complaints;
3.5 the time periods associated with the various stages in the process;
3.6 the complainant's options for remedy, including referral to the MIOSA;
3.7 the manner in which the complainant can obtain feedback on the stage of the complaint.


4.        Receipt of complaint:

4.1 When the complaint is first reported, the complaint must be recorded and a unique identifier code or number must be provided for each complaint.
4.2 Any other information necessary for the effective handling of the complaint must also be recorded or attached to the complaint, including at least the following:
4.2.1 a description of the complaint must be made including:
(i) the products or related organization practices complained about;
(ii) information on the persons involved including department, branch, organization and market segment;
4.2.2 all supporting information, all relevant supporting data and documentation must also be recorded or attached to the complaint;
4.2.3 the record of the initial complaint should also specify:
(i) the remedy that the complainant is seeking;
(ii) the due date for a response; and
(iii) whether any immediate action was or must be taken (if any).


5. Time limits for Complaint resolution:
5.1 The supplier should make every effort to resolve the matter within 15 (fifteen) business days.
5.2 If the supplier is unable to resolve the complaint within that period for reasons such as on-going technical testing, the supplier shall inform the complainant of that fact at least 2 (two) days before the expiry of the 15 (fifteen)-business day deadline.


6.        Complaint resolution:

6.1 The supplier should make every effort to resolve the matter in good faith and in accordance with its internal complaints-handling processes.
6.2 In doing so, the supplier should deal with the complaint:
6.2.1 politely and courteously;
6.2.2 promptly and efficiently; and
6.2.3 in a confidential manner.


7. Acknowledgement of complaint:
7.1 Receipt of each complaint should be acknowledged to the complainant:
7.1.1 immediately; or
7.1.2 by the latest within 2 (two) business days (for example via post, phone or email).


8. Tracking of complaint:
8.1 The complaint should be tracked from initial receipt through the entire process until the complainant is satisfied or the final decision is made.
8.2 An up-to-date status should be made available to the complainant:
8.2.1 upon request; and
8.2.2 at regular intervals; or
8.2.3 at least at the time of pre-set deadlines.


9. Initial assessment of complaint:
9.1 After receipt, each complaint should be initially assessed by the supplier in terms of criteria such as:
9.1.1 severity;
9.1.2 safety implication;
9.1.3 complexity;
9.1.4 impact; and
9.1.5 the need and possibility for immediate action.


10. Attempt to settle:
10.1 The supplier should contact the complainant to:
10.1.1 clarify any issue; and
10.1.2 ascertain the essence of the complaint.


11. Investigation of complaints:
11.1 Every reasonable effort should be made by the supplier to investigate all the relevant circumstances and information surrounding a complaint.
11.2 The level of investigation should be commensurate with the seriousness, frequency of occurrence and severity of the complaint.


12. Response to complaints following an investigation:
12.1 Where able and appropriate, the supplier should offer a response, for example that will:
12.1.1 correct the problem and
12.1.2 prevent it from happening in the future.


13. Communicating the decision:
13.1 As soon as is reasonably possible, after a decision has been made regarding the complaint or any action has been taken regarding the complaint, the supplier must advise:
13.1.1 the complainant of such decision made or action taken; and
13.1.2 any of its staff who may have been involved in the incident (if any).


14. Closing the complaint:
14.1 If the complainant accepts the proposed decision or action, then:
14.1.1 the decision or action should be implemented; and
14.1.2 the decision or action should be recorded.



14.2 If the complainant rejects the proposed decision or action, and the supplier rejects or refuses to implement or take further steps or measures regarding the complaint, then:
14.2.1 this should be recorded by the supplier; and
14.2.2 the complainant should be informed of his/her rights in respect of the referral of the complaint to either: the MIOSA; or other entity with jurisdiction.

[Numbering as per the original Gazette]