Friday 28 August 2009

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

One year ago, I took my Sharp microwave to a repair specialist for repair because it was not heating. They repaired it and gave it to me three times, but each time when I reach home it could not heat for more than ten minutes before it stops. Normally they test it for a few minutes before giving it to me, so I think its working.

The last time they had to collect it from my home to take it back, and promised to bring it back after repair. I have visited their workshop countless times to collect it, but every time they have a different excuse. Two months ago they promised to deliver it, but it has never reached.

Each time I call they tell me that they have it in their car and they are bringing it. I think this is because they don’t want me to go to their workshop to collect it anymore.

I desperately need your help, because I don’t know what to do anymore.

It does sound like you've suffered enough with this microwave and this repair job. I’m no specialist in microwave ovens but it should be simple enough for a store to tell you that they can either repair it or that they can’t. Clearly for whatever reason these people can’t do that for you.

Have you paid them anything for the repairs yet? If you haven’t paid them yet it might actually be simpler, quicker and possibly even cheaper to buy another new microwave. An entry-level microwave oven is only a few hundred Pula these days and it would come with a warranty.

On the other hand if you HAVE paid them some money already for the attempted repairs then you can demand that back. Section 15 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations says that a supplier “shall fail to meet minimum standards of performance” if the service they delivered “is not rendered with reasonable care and skill”. You deserve to get back anything you have paid them in full, no questions asked, no funny business, no arguments.

We’ll get in touch with them and see if they can come up with a sensible explanation for the delay and their failure to fix it for you.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I was referred to you by one of my friend, I sold my car to one shop on the 15th May 2009 and to this day they haven’t paid me. The unfortunate part is that after a week the car had some electrical fault, but despite that problem they have promised to pay my full amount, but even to this day they haven’t paid me

Your help will be highly appreciated, I’m happy to provide all the required details.

What did you sign when you sold it to them? Did you hand over the Blue Book to them? Did you sign a sale agreement? Hopefully there’s some paperwork that confirms they’ve bought it from you. Even if there isn’t I think you can still demand that they pay you the money they owe you. The fact that there was an electrical problem after they bought it from you isn’t relevant.

I would write them a letter giving them perhaps 7 days to pay you the full amount they agreed with you. Tell them politely that if they fail to do this you’ll tell the Consumer Protection Unit (Oooh, scary), Consumer Watchdog, The Voice and the Police.

I think that combination might have an effect, don’t you?

Dear Consumer’s Voice #3

[Note, we’ve removed the name of the company in question so we can contact them first.]
XXX Chemicals in a recent Advertiser put an advert which may be misleading to the consumers in that consumers might believe the air-fresheners advertised can actually kill the A(H1N1) virus in the air. I have actually had calls from my clients who enquired on whether we have similar products that can kill A(H1N1) in the air. We have exactly the same air-freshener but it has never been shown to kill A(H1N1) virus.

I believe this is unfair advertising and misleading to the consumers especially when they are in panic mode as it is the case right now. It would therefore be interesting to ask XXX Chemicals to substantiate their claim.

You’re absolutely right. We’ll get in touch with the company in question and see whether they have any evidence to substantiate their claims. I’m not an expert in these matters but I know some people who are and I’ll be asking them as well! Meanwhile a quick search of various scientific sources has led to no evidence that I can see.

If by any chance this company DOES have such a device it will be remarkable but if it turns out there’s no evidence at all to back up their claims then they have stepped WAY over the mark and they’re going to be in for trouble BIG TIME.

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