Saturday, 11 July 2015

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

I want my PC back!

My brother bought a PC from a furniture store with installment in 2010. The same year it wasn’t operating well so we returned it to the shop for maintenance and they said they will contact us back when its ok. Since then they didn’t talk to us.

So just last year they contacted us to pay and even now they are still following us to pay but the PC they still have it. They were just quiet until last year reminding us to pay but not talking about coming to collect a PC.

Last time when he checked them they say the shop moved so they lost some information about the issue of PC. The new manager came all sort of stories and says at the shop they said they lost the statements. They are saying we owe them around P4500.

Whats the way forward?

This is completely ridiculous. Waiting for FIVE YEARS for a computer to be replaced is totally silly. Why was your brother so patient? Most cheap computers only last a few years anyway so the one your brother bought is probably hopelessly out of date now.

The problem is that I suspect your brother stopped paying the installments at some point after he returned the computer for repair. I can understand why he did that but that’s probably why he owes them so much money. It’s critically important that whatever you do, you should never stop making your hire purchase payments, even if the store takes your goods away for repair and takes years to return them. All that achieves is to put you in the wrong and it allows the store to repossess the goods and sell them but still leaving you owing money.

I have to ask this. Is it possible that the store didn’t return the computer because he had already stopped paying?

I’ll get in touch with the store and see what they say for themselves.

Here’s one last lesson. Why would you buy a computer from a furniture store? Would you buy a sofa from a computer store? It’s always best to buy specialist things like computers from specialist stores.

Crooks stole my money!
Last year December in Pretoria, my card was swallowed by the ATM machine and 2 hours later I had lost P24,000. I went to the bank that I tried withdrawing from but all I was told is that they will get back to me. When I realized that they weren't doing nothing I confronted my bank but they still didn't help in any way.

Advice please.

I think you deserve an update from the bank on exactly what happened in Pretoria. It sounds very likely to me that you’ve been a victim of ATM fraud. It’s possible that the ATM you used had been tampered with by crooks. Chances are they attached a device to the ATM to secretly scan your card and they probably also attached a camera to record your PIN as you entered it. With this technology the crooks can produce a cloned version of your card and can be withdrawing your money anywhere in the world within moments. One bank told us of a gang that were cloning cards belonging to customers in South Africa and Botswana but withdrawing money in Peru just minutes later.

The simplest way to prevent this is always to cover your hand as you enter your PIN.

Unfortunately the bad news is that bank rules say that if a crook uses your PIN to withdraw your money then the bank isn’t required to compensate you. Banks assume that it’s your fault if you disclose your PIN even if the ATM had been hijacked by crooks. They’ll argue that it isn’t their fault if your money is stolen using your PIN, assuming that you gave it away somehow.

We’ll get in touch with the bank for you and see if they can’t speed things up and give you a decent response. You deserve that at least.

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