Friday, 21 February 2014

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

We recently bought a car from a second hand car dealer in Mogoditshane. On a test drive I noticed a light on the dash board which at the time the seller dismissed as normal. After all necessary documentation and payment of P65,000 with a balance of P10,000 still to be paid for the car we had to travel back to work. On arrival the car started giving me problems with engaging the gears and I called the seller who suggested I look for a local mechanic. My mechanic couldn't fix the car so we agreed with the seller to have the car sent to his garage so he uses his own mechanic, I paid the car carrier to have the car taken to him. It turned out the car had a gearbox problems and I suspect the warning lights were just that, warnings that something wasn't right with car. The seller is currently busy with his mechanic to have the car fixed and its proving to be a tough task as it has been with him for almost a month now. I never get any feedback on the progress of the fixing from them unless I call. Please advise on the options I have, especially that I'm still to pay him P10,000 balance on the vehicle and his last receipt is inscribed "no guarantee" with a pen on top. Do I deserve a refund or exchange for another or the "no guarantee" inscription mean I'm doomed?

Under no circumstances should you pay him the outstanding P10,000, that’s probably the only way you can apply pressure on him to get your car fixed.

There’s a lot of nonsense said about the “no guarantee” or “voetstoots” business when you buy a second-hand car. Yes, it means that you’re taking the car “as seen” but that doesn’t mean the dealer can sell you something that doesn’t work.

However I do think you were very unwise to take the car when it was showing warning lights before you paid for it. The dealer might argue that having seen those warnings you knew there was a problem with the car when you bought it.

However, I suggest that you write the dealer a letter saying you require either a full refund of the P60,000 or a prompt repair, given that the vehicle was not “of merchantable quality” as required by Section 13 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations. Let me know how it goes.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2
I am having sleepless nights with the thought that I have been impoverished by our insurance policies. I joined one Funeral package scheme in 2009 for myself and three family members with a monthly subscription of P155, my source of income got rough in 2011 and I started defaulting until I was later told my policy had elapsed.

I later found another source of income in 2012 and I went back to renew the same policy and I also added another family member and the payment rose to P255, although I was aware of the past I read the contract firmly and I later had a cash inconvenience and my contract was again terminated. I made them aware that I can settle the whole amount on the last day of the month but they refused to listen. I still want my poor family covered and I want to renew my contract, is there anywhere or any law which can save us or at least negotiate for a cashback plan rather than get swindled of our hard earned cash?

I don’t want to sound unsympathetic but I can understand why the insurance company is being resistant and inflexible. On two separate occasions you signed a contract with them and then midway through both policies you stopped paying. They already allowed you to renew the policy after defaulting the first time, which was probably “generous” of them, I think it might be too much to ask them to reconsider after you defaulted a second time.

With your permission we’ll get in touch with the company and ask if they can reconsider but frankly I’m not optimistic. Don’t hold your breath.

No comments: