Friday 26 June 2009

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Yet more stories this week, all of them VERY long so you’ll have to forgive me for cutting them down.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

On 13th March, I took my gearbox sample to a local spares centre to get a reconditioned one. The management advised me to leave the gearbox sample with them, so that they can compare with the ones they have in South Africa. We agreed a total cost of P3,500.

2 weeks later they called me said they had found me a gearbox and I paid a deposit of P2,000, the balance of P1,500 was to be paid on collection.

[A long series of disappointments followed. Eventually in April the customer was called to collect the new gearbox only to find out that it wasn’t correct. This gearbox turned out to be incomplete and he was then promised another. When he got this one it was the wrong type so he ended up very unhappy.]

Minutes before I sent this email, the manager called me and informed me that my gearbox will be in town by Friday. But that it may not be the right one. So he told me that if he brought the wrong one, he will refund me the full amount with immediate effect, which is still not a great option as I will never find a compatible gearbox without the gearbox I gave them.

What can I do?

Clearly you’ve had a bad experience but I think the manager has probably done nearly all that can be expected. He’s realised that he’s let you down several times and is now saying that if he fails you once more he’s going to give you all of your money back.

However you are right that you have given away the sample gearbox you needed to identify what you need. It would only be reasonable for him to make a plan for you to get a gearbox from an alternative source. Let us know if we can help.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I wish to formally complain relating to my DVD player I had given to a specialist repair company. On the 2nd November 2007, I handed over my Sony DVD player to the company for repair. It is now approximately 18 months since I gave it to the company and to date nothing concrete has been given to me as feedback in terms of the state and whereabouts of this DVD. At some stage I was informed that DVD was to be couriered to South Africa for a further attention, but was never shown any documentary proof that this was indeed the case.

Considering all the contradictory feedback that I have been given by the Workshop Manager and the length of time involved I am beginning to suspect that something is being hidden from me. It is on this basis that I kindly request for your intervention.

This is lunacy. How can a repair take this long? Your DVD is now an antique. Even if they gave it back to you today in perfect working order it would be old and nearly useless. The time has come to get very assertive with these people. Tell them that they have breached Section 15 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations because the service they delivered was not “rendered with reasonable care and skill”.

Give them a choice. Give them 7 days either to give you back a working DVD player or the price of a new one. Insist on an explanation as well. If they give you any nonsense let us know.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #3

I got an email offering me a place on a course on Tissue Salts for P250. Do you think this offers anything real?

No. This is yet another of those alternative health theories that is totally unsupported by real evidence. The email suggests that these “salts” are “inexpensive, taste fine and seem to be able to counteract just about every common ailment from pimples to period pain, headaches to hangovers”. That’s quite a claim.

When you dig a little further you can easily find out what these salts are. According to one web site that sells these products they are “are minerals in an energy form”. They “are mineral energies, they… have particle and light qualities” and they have “an effect not only upon the cells and tissues of the body, but also upon restoring the integrity of the bio-energetic field”.

Do you get the picture yet? It’s all utter nonsense. Don’t waste your money on silly products and training that is just a cover story to sell you silly products. Eat a balanced diet and take some exercise instead. You’ll healthier, happier, fitter and you won’t have wasted your money on silliness.

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