Silas Koech ordered sheet iron and roll tops in April 2018 and was promised that they would be delivered in two days. He placed the order through Mr. Okari. The order arrived after two weeks.
Despite the delay, Mr. Koech placed another order on June 5, 2018 for more iron sheets and roller shutters.
Royal Mabati’s sales team promised that the order would be delivered within seven days and Mr. Koech’s details were still in the company’s system and no re-entry was required.
The new order arrived after two weeks but the sheet metal supplied was not from the Kind that Mr. Koech had ordered.
He refused to take the order and the delivery team did not ship the unwanted iron sheets back to Royal Mabati.
The standoff caused construction delays and rain damage Roofing on Mr. Koech’s house, which he replaced at his own expense.
Gilbert Owino ordered charcoal gray Mabati on August 17, 2018 after seeing the company’s advertisement. He was promised delivery within 48 hours.
A few weeks later, Royal Mabati asked Mr Owino to change his order to blue corrugated iron. Mr. Owino agreed.
But when the CAK Royal Mabati issued an investigative notice on October 1, 2018, more than a month later, Mr. Owino had not received the iron sheets.
Other, who were forced to change their orders were Daniel Kariuki Mwangi, Isaac Malanga and Leonard Rono. Mr Mwangi was also forced to pay for the delivery, contrary to what Royal Mabati advertised.
Lewis Mose, Gilbert Mabwai and Joash Midiwo eventually received a refund, but after a protracted struggle and wait.
Mr Mabwai placed his order in June 2017 and was promised it would be delivered within two days. By December 2017 he had received nothing and Royal Mabati asked him to select a different product and pay more for the fresh selection.
Mr Okari, Muthee Kagwa, George Njoroge, Patrick Ondieki, Valerie Wanjala and finally Francisca Owuor received their orders but suffered losses as weather conditions damaged their construction sites.
CAK sent separate investigation notices to Royal Mabati in relation to each of the 13 complaints.
The company only responded to these the complaint from Mr Moses, stating that Royal Mabati has internal dispute resolution mechanisms in place which the customer should have used.
Now the roof has collapsed on the Royal Mabati Factory, a leading sheet metal dealer The competition court gave the go-ahead Shining light on a Sh2.6 million fine for multiple offenses involving bait and switch, false advertising and breach of contract of sale with customers.
The Ger ot has upheld a decision by the Kenya Competition Authority (CAK) to fine Royal Mabati Sh2 0.6 million over complaints from 13 customers who were put through financial hell trying to buy sheet iron.
CAK initially fined Royal Mabati on May 21, 2020.
But the Iron Plate Dealer appealed the decision to the Competition Court.
Proceedings before the court show that CAK has investigated multiple complaints against Royal Mabati since 2018.
Annual reports on CAK’s website show dozens of other customers have filed new complaints against Royal Mabati after the regulator fined it, a clue that the company could part with millions more in fines.
Daniel Ogola, Rebecca Mogire, Valentine Mwende and Destaings Nyongesa ruled that evidence before them showed Royal Mabati against the had violated competition law and the CAK fine could not be appealed.
The court found that Royal Mabati resisted an injunction for misleading advertising and continued to bait customers throughout the litigation.
Many of the clients have filed new complaints with the CAK, the arbitration shows.
“Undisputed evidence in the records shows that despite the injunctive relief being granted, Royal Mabati continued to violate the said injunction and the provisions of the Competition Act . CAK continued to receive new complaints throughout the course of the investigation and after the injunction was issued,” the four-member court said in its ruling.
Following an avalanche of complaints against the company, CAK consolidated 13 complaints filed by individuals because of alleged breaches of purchase agreements were filed.
CAK officers simultaneously investigated complaints from Joseph Agwata Okari, Daniel Kariuki Mwangi, Gilbert Owino, Patrick Ondiek, Leonard Rono, Lewis Mose, Muthee Kagwa, Isaac Malanga, Valerie Wanjala, Joash Midiwo, Francisca Owuor, George Njoroge, and Gilbert Mabwai.
Investigations found that Royal Mabati falsely advertised by promising customers that their orders would be delivered within specific timeframes, ranging from as little as 24 hours to two weeks and free of charge.
The competition court has ruled that Royal Mabati gave customers false information about delivery costs and deadlines and promised a refund .
The tribunal added that Royal Mabati had moved goalposts by inserting clauses in sales contracts, meaning customers didn’t know what they were getting themselves into.
“In In all of the above cases, Royal Mabati has not delivered the customers’ orders within the given deadlines. Royal Mabati compounded the delay by not responding to complaints from its customers, who were already distressed as they continued to suffer losses as a result of the delay,” the court said.
“In that regard, we find that that Royal Mabati’s conduct was unscrupulous.”>
The panel added: “There is no evidence that customers were aware of Royal Mabati’s refund policy prior to the conclusion of the contracts. Some of the terms of the contract were incorporated into the contract by Royal Mabati when the parties came together.”