Legal Update – 31 January 2024

LATRA Complaint Handling Procedures Issued

  • Duties of regulated suppliers and consumers stipulated
  • Complaint Handling Committee established
  • Procedure of complaint submission explained
  • Complaint Forms prescribed
  • 2008 SUMATRA Rules revoked

On 12 January 2024, the Minister for Transport issued the Land Transport Regulatory Authority (Complaint Handling Procedures) Rules (the Rules) via Government Notice No. 16. The said Rules apply to complaints involving a service provider and a service consumer on regulated services submitted to Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA/Authority) for determination. The Rules aim at protecting service consumers as well as ensuring compliance of regulatory standards and requirements by the service providers.

The Rules make it mandatory for all regulated suppliers to ensure that the regulated services or goods provided are safe, reliable and efficient to consumers and that there are is false or misleading representation with respect to the price and standards; plans and system are operated in a manner that provide the consumers with satisfactory standards of services as set forth in the licence and other document supplemental to such licence; language used to consumers is polite; internal consumer complaint procedures are established, published and submitted to the Authority for approval; and the consumer complaints are addressed in compliance with the procedure above. The Rules also require consumers to properly pay and use services offered; timely report a complaint to the supplier on loss, delay or dissatisfaction of services; ensure possession of relevant documents/evidence to support the complaints; and use polite language to the regulated suppliers.

Regarding complaints handling, the Rules establish a Complaints Handling Committee (Committee) which is responsible for handling complaints involving service providers and consumers on regulated goods and services. It should be noted that the functions of the Committee are to receive unresolved complaints from the department submitted to it through the Director General; evaluate a complaint and satisfy itself if the complainant has an interest in the matter; conduct an inquiry to establish whether the complaint is not frivolous or vexatious; summon the parties for hearing; and prepare recommendations for the Board of Directors of the Authority’s (Board) order.

The Rules require a person who is dissatisfied by an act or omission by the regulated supplier to refer his compliant to the regulated supplier within 7 days from the date of such dissatisfaction. Further, the Rules oblige the regulated supplier to determine a complaint within 21 days of receipt of a complaint. Where a complainant is not satisfied with the response of the regulated supplier, the complainant may submit the complaint to the Authority within 14 days. The Form for lodging such a complaint is provided for under the Second Schedule to the Rules. Furthermore, after submission of the complaint and where the respective department is satisfied that the complaint is in order, the Rules require that a summons should be issued to the parties in order to facilitate resolution of the complaint amicably within 14 days.

It should be noted that upon failure of the respective department to handle the complaint, the same should be referred to the Director General who will submit the complaint to the Committee. The Committee is obliged to issue a 7 day notice to the parties to appear before it for hearing. After hearing, the Committee will, within 21 days, submit recommendations to the Board for determination. If a party is aggrieved by the decision of the Board, she or he may appeal to the Fair Competition Tribunal.

To read the Land Transport Regulatory Authority (Complaint Handling Procedures) Rules, 2024 click here