Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I have a problem with a duvet cover I bought from a store at Riverwalk. Within 5 days of purchase and use it was torn at the bottom. I called the store to complain about the issue and ask either for an exchange or a refund. The lady at the store told me that they do not change or refund used items as stated on their receipt and they will not account for my carelessness as I did not take proper care of the cover.

This is unfair. I received the duvet cover as a Christmas gift from my colleague and he did not keep the receipt as he did not predict what could go wrong with the item. I have a price tag that bears the bar code, the price and the shop name.

I believe that I have the right as a consumer to return any item that is not in a satisfactory state to the supplier as soon as I found it faulty and I am entitled for an exchange or refund.

On the outer cover there is the following information: “If you are not entirely happy with this product please contact [store name]. If you wish to return this item please return original packaging and till slip and return within 60 days.

I don’t think this is good enough. A duvet cover is meant to last a lot longer than a few days, so long as you haven’t been doing anything too violent to it.

This situation is slightly different because I don’t think you’re entitled to a refund. That’s because you didn’t pay for it. However I DO think you’re entitled to a duvet cover that isn’t torn. You still have the packaging which clearly states the return policy, confirms which store sold it and I think it’s reasonable to explain that it was a gift and you don’t therefore have the original till receipt.

I suggest you go back to the store and explain that they have breached Section 13 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations which say that a store has failed “to meet minimum standards and specifications” if they sell something that is not “of merchantable quality”. A duvet cover that tears within a couple of days clearly isn’t “fit for the purposes for which commodities of that kind are usually purchased”.

If they don’t do the right thing let us know.

Update: We've heard from the store and a replacement has been offered.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I received a text message from a debt collector after I missed their calls. I returned their call this morning to find out what it was about. They informed me that they were instructed by my bank to collect outstanding credit card payments.

I was surprised because previously I was handed to another debt collector. I paid the full amount of over P8,000 which was demanded from me and the first debt collectors gave me a letter showing that indeed I have cleared my debt. Now I just learned this morning that I have been handed to the second company
and according to them I still have an outstanding amount of nearly P5,000.

What I want to know is shouldn't the bank have written me a letter to inform me of this balance?

This sounds like a mistake to me. It sounds like the first debt collection company has miscommunicated with your bank about the amount they collected from you. We’ll get in touch with the bank in question and see if they can investigate and resolve this matter for you.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #3

My sister went shopping at the recently opened Rail Park Mall and was injured in the shop by a step-ladder while shopping. She had a cut which was bleeding. She tells me she was given painkillers, some "first aid procedures" and P30 to get a cab home.

Is this all a reputable store can do? I’m limited in that area but think they should have done more than that.

I’m not a doctor but I suspect that a bit more than this is called for. I suspect that if she was cut by a metal object she might need a tetanus jab? She might also need an apology from the store for her injury and the rest of us need assurance that they’re not going to injure us as well. I think she should visit her doctor for advice and keep a receipt for anything he charges her. The store will need to pay for that.

1 comment:

RBDC said...

How to reverse boycott debt collectors.

When a debt collector/debt collection/debt buyer company can repeatedly call with the intent of getting money their customers can repeatedly answer or call back with the intent of not giving them any. They need people to pay with as little talk as possible. They don't want to talk with people who know they are never going to pay. Be all talk and no pay. Answer when convenient. Call back. Give no information. Verify nothing. Ask as many questions as you can. Answer none.

Don't ignore/block/report them. It doesn't work. These folks want you to ignore them for as long as you can stand to or until you give them something valuable like money or information. Ignoring them is being their good customer. Sending a cease and desist is giving information. It lets them know you are still alive and remain their good customer. Preparing to initiate unlikely individual legal battles is being their good customer.

Be their bad customer. Make them talk to you fruitlessly for as long as they can stand to or until they stop selecting you as their customer. These companies cannot spend seconds much less minutes on the phone with every person who will never send them a dime. But they don't know who that is. You do. That knowledge is power. Every second you can keep their staff on the phone will render their business less profitable giving them a reason to never call you again.

Calling will not reset your SOL. Making a partial payment will.

One person who does this likes to ask general questions they should but usually won't answer, "May I have the name and address of your agent for service of process?" Calmly and slowly ask them to spell every word in the address. Read it back for verification. Control the pace. If they are rushing then politely ask them to slowly repeat. "Are you a corporation and if so in which state are you incorporated?" Repeat your questions when you don't get direct answers. When they won't answer a question ask, "Would you like to comply with the business and professions codes of your state?" That is usually the point when they hang up on me but if they say they want to comply then begin your questions again.

Repeat while you have the spare time. These folks have many victims and few operators. If everyone calls back but pays nothing the mass auto-dialer business model becomes unprofitable. Don't aid and comfort the enemy by ignoring them. Call! Have a nice long slow friendly chat! Make them hang up first.

Press 2 for Spanish.

There are certainly enough victims to take down debt collectors so ignoring/blocking seems downright Orwellian. Really? We're just going to passively submit and go with a block list or however we manage ignoring an endless stream of unwanted phone calls day after day? No! Unite or remain conquered. Answer/return every call - become well practiced at keeping these folks on the phone - or count yourself not amongst the free.