Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

My friend bought a 7 inch tablet from this company but after 2 days from the day of purchase the guy raised a complaint that the battery doesn’t last and some problems like the speaker. The boss of the company took the tablet for almost 1 week claiming that he is fixing it. Then he returned it saying that he will fix it because he was still busy. The guy returned it again and it was with the boss for almost 3 weeks but the studies for that guy was suffering so the tab was returned to him and the boss of the company said he replaced the battery and fixed all the problems.

After 4 hours of use the guy complained saying the matters are worse, he contacted the boss again but the boss wouldn’t take his calls. He went to the boss home and found the wife who he told about the issue, and the wife gave the guy a new tablet. We were relieved that now he will study well but after 2 days he complained that the screen freezed. Now he is tired of all this and wants to sue the company he bought it from. We want to sue him as he refused a refund and he also delayed the studies of my friend.

The time has come to teach this store owner a lesson about consumer rights. Section 13 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations says that things you buy must be of “merchantable quality”. Merchantable quality means that something you buy must be "fit for the purposes for which commodities of that kind are usually purchased”. This means that something you buy must do what it says it does. A cellphone must be able to make calls, a fridge must make things cold and a tablet computer like yours must just work properly.

I suggest that you write a letter to the store and deliver it either by hand or by fax. It should say that they have breached the Consumer Protection Regulations as I mentioned and give them 14 days to remedy the situation either by giving you a replacement tablet that works properly or a complete refund of the money you spent. Tell them that if they fail to do so you’ll take any necessary legal action to recover your money. Make sure you tell them you’ve contacted us and have sought our advice. Meanwhile we’ll get in touch with them to encourage them to do the decent thing.

Let me know if you hear from them?

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I bought a Blackberry Bold 9720 cell phone on 27th October 2013 from a store at Airport Junction mall in Gaborone. In two weeks I reported that the cell phone is getting too hot even when I'm not using it and if this happen the battery get drained immediately and the response was just go and observe it again otherwise that is how it is.

On 20th November I discovered that it cannot charge the battery and I took it back to them. They tried to charge it and it didn't charge then they said they are going to take it to the technicians to check it. Their feed back that I got from them after taking their time was that I have damaged the cell phone and they won’t repair it. I don’t know what proofs that i physically damaged it.

I believe that they have knowingly sold this damaged cell phone to me purposely. I have spent P2749.00 for that cell alone and that is the service I got from them that and should come and collect that faulty instrument.

I don’t think there’s any evidence that they deliberately sold you a faulty phone but you have certainly been mistreated. I suggest you write them a letter explaining that they have breached Section 13 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations by selling you something that isn’t of “merchantable quality”. You should also tell them that the breach Section 15 (1) (b) of the Regulations if they don’t quote “scientific or technical data in support of a claim unless the data can be readily substantiated”. You deserve a full technical report on exactly what’s wrong with your phone rather than just this feeble suggestion that you’ve damaged it. You have a right to a technical report proving what’s actually wrong with the device.

We’ll also get in touch with them to see if they can’t be a bit more helpful.

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