Consumer Affairs Overview

MISSION OF RURA IN REGARD TO CONSUMER PROTECTION

The law nº09/2013 of 01/03/2013 establishing Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) and determining its mission, powers, organisation and functioning Article 4

1) To set up necessary guidelines in order to implement laws and regulations in force;

2) To ensure compliance by public utilities with the provisions of laws and regulations governing the regulated sectors in an objective, transparent and non-discriminatory manner;

3) To ensure the continuity of service delivery by the licensed or authorized service providers and the preservation of public interest;

4) To protect users and operators interests by taking measures likely to guarantee effective, sound and fair competition.

5) To protect and promote consumers’ interests;

6) To promote the availability, accessibility and affordability of regulated services to all consumers including low income, rural and disadvantaged consumers;

7) To promote efficient development of regulated sectors in accordance with Government economic and financial policy;

8) To promote and enhance general knowledge, sensitization and awareness of the regulated sectors including but not limited to: a. the rights and obligations of consumers and service providers; b. the ways in which complaints are lodged and resolved;

9) To monitor and ensure compliance by regulated network or service providers in line with their licenses, permits and concession obligations;

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS UNIT

Intervene, act and use the regulatory powers conferred under the RURA law, sector laws and other regulatory instruments to influence the quality of service, in the interest of the consumers in all regulated sectors (ICT, Transport, Energy, Water and Sanitation).

Prepare and execute consumer awareness programs in order to empower consumers of regulated utilities.

Initiate and review different regulations and guidelines related to consumer protection in regulated sectors.

Review the contracts between service providers and their customers.

Conduct regular studies on consumer satisfaction, Consumer Trends and Behaviour related to the regulated sectors.

Coordinate research projects related consumer empowerment and consumer protection.

To analyze promotions from telecom operators and to remove exploitative aspects before promotions are launched.

 Promote among service providers best practice in the delivery of quality of service and value for money.

 Handle and resolve consumers’ complaints and disputes.

 Propose to the competent organs the plan of strong consumer protection policy in regulated utilities.

 Follow up on matters of consumer concern raised through various media and update the Authority accordingly.

Make regular inspection and test services provided by operators to ascertain accessibility, quality and availability of services in regulated sectors.

 Enforces laws, license, regulations, guidelines, contract in the interest of consumer.

Organize consumer forums.

LEGAL TOOLS IN REGARD TO CONSUMER PROTECTION

a) Consumer Protection Policy(2010)

b) Law no 09/2013 of 01/03/2013 establishing RURA and determining its mission, powers, organization and functioning

c) Law no 36/2013 of 21/09/2012 relating to competition and consumer protection

d) Sector laws

e) Regulations and guidelines set by the Regulatory Authority

f) Guidelines on consumer protection and complaints handling

g) Board decisions and

h) Contracts between service providers and consumers

Overview