Friday, 30 March 2012

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I engaged a debt collection company to collect a debt for me. On Monday 12th March, I phoned them to check the status of my case. They told me that they were ready to serve a summons on Friday 9th March but they didn’t find the summons in the file, which means that the summons might have been served already. They however said they had not met with other employees and could not assure me that it had been served.

I waited to hear from them until 21st March 2012 and then phoned them but the manager said he would phone me the next day. I waited until the afternoon and I phoned him since he had not phoned me as he promised. I was then answered by a lady who then told me that the manager was busy on another phone and I should phone him after two minutes. I then requested her to ask him to phone me when he finishes since he had promised to phone me.

After 5 minutes I phoned again and the lady told me that he was still busy and he said he would phone. I then waited for his call for about 10 minutes then I called again. When I identified myself she said he has gone. I complained to the lady about the way they are treating me and asked her to go and find the man and tell him that am on the line. I was told that he was busy at another office, and I requested his mobile number. When I phoned him on his mobile number, I complained to him about the way they are treating me, he said, I am not the only customer and every time when I phone I shout at them. He further said that he will show me what they have done and deduct their expenses and give me the change from the P350 that I opened the file with and part ways with me.

In short I can tell you that I do not now the status to my case even now.

I think you might need to set another debt collector on this one. Clearly this one isn’t interested in doing any work for you, just in taking your money.

I suggest that you write these people a formal letter saying that they have failed to deliver their services “with reasonable care and skill” as required by Section 15 (10 (a) of the Consumer Protections Regulations and that, as a result, you are cancelling your agreement with them. Give them 7 days to repay your fees in full. Either that or they should get the job done!

Do they really want debt collectors turning up at their door? Do they really want to be known as the debt collector who’s in debt? Do they really want a fight?

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I have a complaint regarding a furniture shop. I purchased a couch and LG 41 inch plasma TV from them. I ordered a plain black couch but they delivered a brown couch which surprised me. I asked them why they brought a color that I didn’t order and they told me they will deliver my the black couch three days later since its still at their warehouse in Lobatse. They claimed they didn’t want to take too long without bringing my goods. The material on the couch they delivered is peeling off and they came to the house and saw that. It's now three months without any assistance from the shop, the funny thing is that the manager is the one who was handling this matter and he always hangs up when I call him, or he promises to call back but never does. They expect me to pay them every month yet I’m not happy with their goods. I have proof of all the calls I make to the manager on a daily basis without his help.

Please help me. What can I do?

Firstly I want to praise you for not stopping your payments. That’s always a temptation but it’s the worst possible thing you could do. I’m assuming that the TV they delivered was OK? Ironically if the TV hadn’t been delivered it would be easier for you to cancel the entire deal. Nevertheless the store has failed to deliver what your ordered. A lawyer might argue that they have breached their contract with you. However the Consumer Protection Regulations are also clear.

They’ve breached Section 13 (1) (a) which states that they’ve failed “to meet minimum standards” if they deliver a commodity that “does not match any sample or description given to the consumer”. You asked for a black couch, they agreed and then failed.

I think you should write to the store and explain all of this to them. Give them 7 days to remove the couch and either replace it with the couch you bought or to give you a refund and adjust your credit agreement accordingly.

Tell them that if they fail to do this you will return it to them at your own cost and then go to the Small Claims Court with your case to get back the transportation costs and (more importantly) the credit value of the couch. Do they really want a fight?

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