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1. What is the Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (CCAA)?

The CCAA is a government agency that (i) protects consumers rights against unethical businesses and (ii) ensures businesses compete fairly and transparently in the market.

2. What are my rights as a consumer?

You have the right:

  • for access to healthy and safe goods and services,
  • to accurate and truthful information about goods and services,
  • to fair and equitable treatment by businesses,
  • to choose products and services at competitive prices, and
  • to get redressal against unfair business practices.
3. How do I complain to CCAA if I feel my right as a consumer is violated?
  1. You can

    • call us on our toll-free number [1214],
    • email us at consumerservice@moice.gov.bt,
    • submit your complaints on the Complaint Management System (CMS) available on our website ccaa.gov.bt, or
    • visit us during office hours.
4. What can CCAA do if I file a complaint against a business firm?
  1. We will find out the facts and based on evidence, we may ask the firm to repair, replace or refund or fulfill other remedial measures. If that fails, we will facilitate a mediation between you and the business firm. If mediation fails, we will call upon our Dispute Settlement Committee (DSC) who will then pass a judgment. If either of the parties are dissatisfied with the ruling of the DSC, he/she/they can then pursue it in the court of law.

4. If I am not based in Thimphu and want to complain in person, where do I go?

You can complain either to the Gup of your Gewog or the Regional Office of Industry, Commerce and Employment (ROICE). ROICE are located in Monggar, Samdrup Jongkhar, Trongsa, Gelephu, Phuentsholing and Thimphu.

5. If I enter into a personal deal with another individual and he/she/they fail to keep their side of the deal, can I complain to CCAA for dispute resolution?

No, CCAA’s mandate is only to resolve disputes between an individual and a registered or licensed business.

6. If I order or import goods or services directly from business firms outside Bhutan and they deceive me, can CCAA help?

CCAA’s jurisdiction is only within the country. Nonetheless, we could try and facilitate redressal through our Ministry of Foreign Affairs & External Trade (MFAET), though we cannot assure that redressal will be successful. Extreme precaution needs to be taken before getting into business deals with firms outside Bhutan.

7. If I have an issue with an e-commerce business, can I get redressal with the help of CCAA?

Yes, if the e-commerce is registered locally. There are many that operate online without registration and contacting and locating them for grievance redressal is a challenge. That is why you should deal only with registered or reputed e-commerce firms.

8. If I observe unethical business practices in the market, is it right for me to complain even if I am not personally affected?

Yes, as a responsible citizen you should report any unethical business practices. We will investigate and act as per evidence against the business. You do not have to reveal your identity and even if you do, your identity will be protected. Depending on the type and the gravity of violation, we may caution them, take administrative action or litigate in the court of law.

9. Do I have to submit documents when complaining?

It does help if you have documentary evidence. Depending on the nature of the case, it can be just a cash memo, screenshot of online payment, copies or screenshots of e-mail or sms exchanges or in other cases, documents such as warranty papers and sales terms and conditions.

10. Do all business firms have to issue cash memos?

Yes, for all purchases above Nu. 100, they have to issue a cash memo.

11. Does CCAA control the price of goods and services? Do they have to sell within the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) marked on the package?

No, MRP on imported products is not applicable in Bhutan. Apart from products such as medicine, petrol, diesel, LPG, sand, timber, cement and other domestically produced consumer goods (wherein the manufacturer has set the MRP); prices are not fixed and are determined by the forces of supply and demand, i.e. market competition.

12. Is it mandatory for businesses to put price tags/ labels on goods?

Yes, all businesses are required to put visible and easily legible prices on the product or attach price tags on the goods.

13. Some shops erase the MRP on packages that are printed by the company. Is that permitted?

No, businesses are not permitted to erase or tamper pre-printed prices, since they can be used by consumers as a reference.

14. Sometimes, I doubt if the weight of the goods I purchase is correct or not? Do I have the right to ask them to weigh it?

Yes, all businesses are expected to have a calibrated weighing or measuring scale at their store. If you want, you have the right to ask them to weigh it.

15. Sometimes, I see products past their expiry dates or I find out products are spoiled after purchase? What right do I have?

Businesses must not sell expired, spoilt or damaged products. You have the full right to ask for a refund or replacement.

16. If someone promises to deliver something within a specified date but does not deliver, do I have the right to complain?

Yes, you do. It helps if you have mutually agreed contracts or invoice wherein delivery date is specified. If the delivery date was verbal agreement, it is difficult to prove.

17. What is a pyramid scheme?

Pyramid scheme is a money-making scheme, wherein, the company’s real business is to recruit people to sell a normally sketchy, price-inflated product(s). The recruits who are attracted by the promise of earning easy money will only make money if they can gather a lot of ‘downline’ members. To maintain their standing in the company, they have to keep on buying the product(s). The sale of these products and the registration fee that new members have to pay keeps cash flowing towards the top of the pyramid, i.e. the upline members and the proponents at the very top.

18. Can I participate in a pyramid scheme?

No, all pyramid schemes are illegal. If you suspect any pyramid schemes are being operated, report to the CCAA at once.

19. Does CCAA act only upon consumer complaints?

No, we frequently carry out market monitoring and market research. If we find unethical business practices, we either ask them to rectify or penalize them, depending on the nature and gravity of offense.

20. Sometimes, manufacturers offer complementary goods as part of their promotional scheme but the retailers do not pass on the benefits to the consumers. Do consumers have the right to those benefits?

Yes, these benefits are meant for final consumers. In case you come across businesses that do not pass on the benefits to you OR if you find them selling these products separately, you should complain to the CCAA