Friday 17 October 2008

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice

In September I went to a Chinese store called Investors View in Kasane and bought speakers costing P315.

When I got the speakers home I asked my friend to connect them for me, only to find that they weren’t working.  I took it back the following day.  The manager showed me a piece of paper that said “No guarantee for electronics” but he had never showed me that before I bought the speakers.  He told me that it is my responsibility to walk around the store and find the notice for myself.

I asked him to check the connections but he refused to listen and chased me out of the store.  He even said I should report him to the Police.  I went to the Police but they advised me to go to Consumer Affairs.

Can you tell me if there is a law regarding no guarantees?

Yes, there most certainly is!  A store simply cannot do that.  Section 17 (1) (e) of the Consumer Protection Regulations says that it is a deceptive business practice if a store disclaims or limits “the implied warranty of merchantability and fitness for use, unless a disclaimer is clearly and conspicuously disclosed”.  Notice that last bit.  It’s no good having a scrappy piece of paper hidden in a drawer underneath your unpaid VAT bills that says “No guarantees”.  It must be on the wall where nobody can miss it.  The next section of the Regulations states that it’s another deceptive business practice if they get you to waive your rights unless you have specifically consented to it.  That means in writing, before you paid.

So no, they can’t do that.  We’ll get our Chinese-speaking colleague to give them a call and explain to them in simple terms where they’ve gone wrong.

Meanwhile?  If you buy anything from Investors View in Kasane then be prepared to be abused.

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