Friday 27 February 2009

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice

My cellphone, a Sony Ericsson W800i, fell in water during the festive season. After the holidays I took it to a cellphone shop at Gaborone station. I explained the problem to the assistant and she took the phone and went into an office in the shop. When she returned she told me that I will have to pay P150 for them to repair it. I agreed and she asked me to leave the phone and come after a week.

After a week when I returned the technician asked me to give him more time and I agreed. I came back again after another week and the same guy told me to come the next day to collect the phone. I asked him if it was working and he said he failed to make it work and I could take it to another technician of my choice.

The next day I came back with the hope of collecting the phone and the technician told me to pay P30 because even though he failed to make the phone work, he made it switch on. I refused to pay the charge and the guy refused to give me my phone.

Now my question is, is the P30 worth paying? Please help me get my phone back. I reported this matter to the Police but they advised me to go to Consumer Affairs at the Ministry of Trade.

Can you help?

To be perfectly honest I do think you are being a tiny bit unreasonable. However so are the cellphone repair people.

Given that the store had your phone for quite a while and that they clearly were working on it I think they deserve something for their time. They did get it to switch on so they clearly weren’t completely ignoring your phone. P30 seems reasonable for what they did.

On the other hand, they should have mentioned this to you before you left the phone with them. It would have been reasonable for them to say that it will cost P150 if they get it working but P30 even if they don’t. At least then you would have had the choice.

Technically they should give you the phone back for free, mainly because they didn’t tell you about the P30 in advance. However, they have your phone and is it really worth the fuss, just over P30?

Frankly it’s probably not worth the bother over P30, is it?

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