Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I bought a Toshiba laptop from Home Corp on 11th June 2011. Two months later I noticed that one of the keys had fallen off. I took the laptop together with the key back to the store as it was still under warranty, that was on 27th July . At the store the customer service rep told me that Toshiba didn't have a local agent so they had to send the laptop to SA for repairs a process he said would take 2 to 3 weeks. He also said he wasn't sure if the warranty covered the keys but I told him to go ahead as he said it wasn't going to cost more than P200/300.

It has been six weeks and I still don't have my laptop back. Now all I am getting from them is one excuse after another whilst they are getting their installment in full every month. I feel that's grossly unfair. Please advise.

We spoke to our friends at Home Corp and they have offered the customer another laptop to replace the one they sent to SA. They explained that they have problems getting repairs done locally for certain makes of laptop. That’s probably the lesson we can all learn from this situation. Make sure you buy high-tech equipment from a manufacturer that’s supported in Botswana.

A pat on the back to the guys at Home Corp for fixing this when we got in touch. Well done to them.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I bought a second hand Air con Compressor for my Car from a dealer in Tlokweng. I gave them P2,500 but he then gave me the wrong one. I returned it to him and he promised that he had the correct one and it also happened to be the wrong one. We both agreed that he must return the money. Up to now he still says he is still raising the money. It is now more than 2 weeks with this guy not paying me up and my car is stuck.

What should I do ? Should I go there and sort this guy out because every day I really, I do really get p***ed off and agitated? Should I go there and take stuff to pay myself? I want my Money.

I understand that you’re cross but please, whatever you do, don’t take the law into your own hands. That would make YOU the villain. I suggest you write him a letter giving him 7 days or you’ll go straight to the Small Claims Court. See if that works.

Exploding laptop update

Last week we reported on a complaint from a reader who had bought a laptop on credit from HiFi Corporation for her niece (I wish I had an aunt like her!). Luckily the credit agreement came with an insurance policy that she thought would cover her when the laptop recently exploded. Unfortunately the store’s initial response was that the policy didn’t cover “mechanical faults” which she thought was surprisingly. So did we.

We contacted the store and they’ve fixed it. They told us that “the insurance claim has been approved”. Another pat on the back, this time for HiFi Corp. Well done to them.

Micro-lender update

We had a complaint from someone who borrowed P500 from a micro-lender but although she had problems repaying the P500 she continued to repay the P150 interest each month. She was horrified to get a letter from attorneys demanding P1,000 for the lender and P691 for the attorneys.

We spoke to the attorneys and suggested that she should NOT be required to pay anything at all until the lender could provide evidence that P1,000 was justified. We also asked how a private individual like this lender came to be running what seemed to be an unregistered micro-lending business. We wondered whether she was registered either with NBFIRA, who regulate such lenders and with BURS, with whom she should be registered and to whom she’s presumably paying tax on her profits? They couldn’t answer that.

I also asked NBFIRA if they’d heard of the lender and it seems they’re on the case and have asked for a statement form her. Maybe I should tell BURS as well?

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