It is not enough for consumers to merely understand their rights. They must also have a way to exercise their rights and make it known when their rights are being infringed upon by unscrupulous creditors or unfair practices. Though the National Credit Act of South Africa exists to keep consumers protected and informed of their rights, it is also important that consumers have the means to lodge complaints about unfair credit practices.
The National Credit Act of South Africa established the practice of debt counselling, as well creating rights that consumers did not have before its enactment, but it also serves another function; creating an avenue for consumers to lodge complaints about unfair credit practices. These include reckless lending, uncouth debt collection practices, and bad debt counselling services.
In order to lodge a complaint against a credit provider, consumers can contact the NCR on firstname.lastname@example.org . Complaints regarding the credit bureaux may also be directed here. The NCR will then investigate the complaints and, if needs be, take action against it.
If a consumer encounters bad debt counselling or suspects that a debt counsellor is not acting within the law, they should send a complaint to email@example.com . An investigation will take place and if the content of the complaint is confirmed, the NCR will take action, including, in some cases, suspending the debt counsellor’s licence to practice.
Lastly, complaints regarding the actions of the NCR itself can be lodged by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org . This means that if NCR employees do not act fairly, consumers may complain about them.
If the NCR complaint does not prove successful and the consumer still suspects that they have been aggrieved – they may contact the credit ombudsman and lodge a complaint with them. As an objective third party, the ombudsman will launch an investigation and advise the consumer on which actions to take.
Complaints are taken seriously under the new legislation, and can help root out unfair credit practices. Therefore consumers should understand the National Credit Act of South Africa and not hesitate to bring suspicious activities to the attention of the NCR or ombudsman in order to continue balancing the credit industry.