Saturday, 6 October 2012

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I just recently took my shoe to be fixed at a shop at Riverwalk in Gaborone. This shoe was taken in on the 4th of August and the people in the shop have since then misplaced it. I had been battling with the manager of the shop for over a month for him to look for my shoe or to give me a solution if he could not find it. The phone call I had with him this morning was not good he kept telling me that he doesn't know where the shoe is and that I am harassing him for asking for my shoe. He went on to tell me that he is protected by a law and that he is not liable for the whereabouts of it and that I should stop calling him. Now this gets me to think that does this mean now that they treat all their customers like this or is it because of the fact that I’m younger than him.

I feel as a customer I have been mistreated and am being thrown around. Please assist me in this matter. I have given him more than enough time to give me an answer and it has been a month and a half or so.

I’m sorry for the trouble you’ve had with this store. You have indeed been mistreated and you deserver better that to be told the law protects them rather than you. I think that you should write the store a letter demanding that they fix the issue, either by returning the shoe to you or by compensating you for your loss within a suitable time. Perhaps give them seven days to fix things. I suggest that you tell them that if they don’t fix it you’ll be approaching the Small Claims Court for help. You should remind them that one shoe is no use to anyone apart from someone with only one leg. I assume you have two? If they can’t find the shoe you need the price of a new PAIR, not just the one they lost.

You might also remind them that Section 15 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations requires stores to deliver services “with reasonable care and skill”, something they’ve clearly failed to do in your case. Please let me know how they respond?

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I stayed at a hotel [name withheld] on 10 August 2012 and checked out on 12 August 2012.

At the time of checking in I gave them my debit card and P2,000 was withheld on my account. Before I checked out, I lost my debit card before settling and settled my bill in cash instead.

The staff at the hotel assured me that the withheld P2,000 will be released to my account in 7 days. Its now over 1 month and the money is still withheld.

I have written to my bank and to the hotel but have received no assistance. Can you assist?

This is too much. It should be a fairly simple thing for the hotel to reverse the hold they have on the money in your account. I can understand that the hotel’s bank and yours probably need to talk to each other and perhaps fill in a form to confirm it’s genuine but this shouldn’t be so difficult. It must also be something that happens fairly often in a hotel like this one (it’s a big one that every reader will know)? It’s not going to be the first time this has happened.

I suggest that you write to the hotel and ask them when you can expect your money to be released. You should also copy the letter to your bank so they understand the situation. I’ve contacted them as well to let them know they need to get moving.

Let me know if you hear from them?

Update: I heard back from the reader who had just heard from the hotel and the bank that the withheld money was about to be released. However they told him that this normally takes 45 days to process. That’s just ridiculous. I don’t care about the bureaucracy, this is 2012, get it done!

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