The transport company, Peace Mass Transit (PMT), says it is still reviewing the recent court judgement against the company which awarded N500, 000 to one of its passengers.
PMT lost its legal battle with a passenger seeking the refund of N500,000 (about $1) he paid to the company for a scheduled trip in February, last year.
The passenger, Patrick Chukwuma, had instituted the suit after the company reportedly refused to refund the money to him despite failing to undertake the trip.
In his ruling on Thursday, Justice C. O. Ajah of the Enugu State High Court, set aside the “no refund policy” of the company.
The court further ordered the defendant (PMT) to pay the sum of N500,000 as damages to the plaintiff (Mr Chukwuma).
Reacting to the judgement, PMT in a statement by its general manager, Ifeanyi Enete, on Friday, said the company would decide on the next line of action as soon as the review of the court ruling was concluded by their lawyers.
Mr Enete insisted that the company makes refunds to its customers in the event of “unforeseen service failure”, saying the company boasts of the best record and capacity of making alternative arrangements for passengers whenever vehicles break down in the course of journey.
“However, we don’t rule out the possibility that some ‘overzealous staff’ down the line, can sometimes constitute obstacles to realisation of our corporate policy of prompt, enjoyable and safer road transport service for our valued customers,” he said.
He expressed the company’s readiness to invest in the re- training and reorientation of such staff to become better “service delivery agents.”
Mr Enete also urged their customers to remain calm and continue to support the company in their efforts to provide them with better, safer and affordable travel facilities in the country.
Legal expert reacts
Commenting on the issue, Stanley Alieke, a legal practitioner based in Abuja, said the court ruling was in line with the provision of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018.
According to him, section 120 of the Act 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 cancellation of the order or reservation by the supplier or service provider.”
The legal expert also highlighted other sections of the Act supporting the judgment to include, 104, 129 (1)(a) and (b) (iii).
“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,” Mr Alieke posted on a blog on Saturday.
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