Friday, 15 January 2016

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Is this a fair practice?

There is a filling station at Mogoditshane where I recently went there to fill up my car with petrol. I told the attendant that I want to fill up and will use my bank card to pay. He said he had to swipe first but as I was not sure of the amount to fill up I told him to swipe P400. The car was filled up by P350 and instead of them giving me P50 change they said I have to buy something of that amount from their shop as they can’t give me my P50 change! Is this a fair practice?

It most certainly is NOT!

The filling station hasn't done anything illegal, you approved the P400 transaction in good faith and they took the money likewise but this is an utterly ridiculous way to do business. Like many other people reading this I’ve sometimes paid for petrol using my debit card and I’ve NEVER been asked to pay up front, presumably because of exactly the same situation you describe. How can they be sure how much petrol the car will take?

Some might say it’s because they’re worried you won’t be able to pay, perhaps the payment will be declined and then what will they do? But isn’t that exactly the same situation they have when people pay using cash? Do they ever ask to see your cash before filling your tank? Of course not.

We’ll get in touch with the management of the filling station chain and see what they say about this ridiculous and insulting procedure. I’m sure they’ll be as shocked as I am.

Can I cancel the deal?

I am writing this email requesting that you help me get my deposit back from a store in Mochudi since they have failed to deliver. I bought a bed from them on the 9th December 2015 through their easy payment terms of 5 months period.

I deposited P1100 and paid extra P200 for delivery. I was then told that delivery will be made in the following week but up to now it has not happened. At some point before Xmas I called the owner and she informed me that she will be going for stock in RSA on the Friday of 18th Dec and will deliver after that, something that really shocked me as I was never told that the bed was out of stock when I made the decision to buy. Nevertheless, I was promised that delivery will be made on the Saturday of the 19th but still did not materialise.

I tried to call the owner as well as the assistant in the week that followed but they never answered my calls nor returned them. I have been trying to call them again since after the holidays but the owner's phone is not going thru and the shop assistant is not offering any solution. Please help.

This store has let you completely down.

Firstly they should have told you before you handed over the deposit that they didn’t have any beds in stock. They breached of Section 13 (1) (e) of the Consumer Protection Regulations when they “represented” that the bed was available when in fact it was not.

I suggest that you write them a letter formally cancelling your order and stating that you no longer want the bed as they neglected to warn you of the delay in delivering it. Make it clear to them in the letter that the deal is cancelled completely. Then tell them that they have 14 days to give you a full refund of the deposit and the delivery charge. Let them know that if they fail to give you the money that you will take any necessary legal action against them. You might want to tell them that you sought the advice of Consumer Watchdog and The Voice about this.

If this fails to persuade them, then you should go directly to the Small Claims Court with all the paperwork and ask for an order against the store for the money they owe you.

It’s also critically important to tell all your family or whoever you live with that if the store tries to deliver the bed now that anyone at the house must refuse to accept delivery. Make it clear that they must NOT put their name on anything the delivery guys might ask them to sign.

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