Saturday 23 April 2016

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Must I pay?

I need your advice, I booked a restaurant for a private dinner on 2nd April as a birthday celebration. I was quoted P6,600 for this dinner (at P220 per guest).

But the venue was double booked because the landowners booked a festival in the gardens at the same time (the restaurant is in the garden) which attracted hundreds of people. At the last minute, the restaurant owner decided to move my private dinner to another spot to avoid the festival patrons. But now the owner wants me to pay the landowner a portion of the P3,000 that the landowner normally charges for events since my dinner was not hosted in the restaurant.

Is this acceptable?

No, of course it’s not. It’s completely unacceptable.

You had an agreement with the restaurant owner to host your function. You and he had agreed the details of this, including the price. The fact that he’s so useless that he double-booked the function is a matter for him to resolve, it’s not your responsibility.

If the only option available to the restaurant owner was to use the other spot for your meal, a spot that cost more money, then he should have explained that to you well in advance. If he wasn’t prepared to pay the extra money himself then he should have given you two options. Firstly, to pay the extra money yourself (which obviously you should have rejected), or for him to arrange an alternative venue for you that was at least as good and for no extra money.

Meanwhile I suggest that you write the restaurant owner a letter saying that the additional money is something for him to cover, it’s not your problem. He can cry as much as he likes for it but it’s not your problem.

It leaks!

I bought a gas stove on the 23rd February 2016.

On the 5th March I returned the stove to the shop after realizing that there is gas leakage when the stove is off despite that the gas cylinder is closed every time after cooking. The shop owner refused to change or refund saying they have to take it back to the manufacturer to investigate the leaking. I tried to tell the shop owner that taking the stove will mean that I don’t have a stove to cook with. He brought an old used stove as a form of loan to me while he has taken the stove. He was to call me as soon as the stove is back from Gaborone where the manufacture which was supposed to be about two weeks.

When I got home with the loaned stove I realized that it has the same problem as mine and is worse so I never used it. I waited for the shop to call until I went to the shop on the 2nd April to check if the stove is back. To my surprise the stove was in the shop but they had never called to collect it. I was furious about that then collected it. When I got home the stove is still leaking. I have not told them yet since they had told me that they can not change nor refund.

That is when I decided to seek help from your respective office.

First things first. Are you sure the problem isn’t with the regulator or the pipe you connect to your gas bottle? It’s worth checking that it’s working properly first of all.

If the regulator is fine, then you need to go back to this slightly suspicious shop and explain to them that selling you a stove that leaks gas is firstly a breach of Section 13 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations 2001 which requires them to offer products that are “of merchantable quality”. Section 15 (1) (a) also requires them to offer services (such as a repair) “with reasonable care and skill”. More importantly it’s also enormously dangerous.

Explain to them that they’ve had a chance to repair the leak and they’ve also had the opportunity to give you a replacement stove that isn’t likely to blow up your house. I think you should suggest to them that the time has come to give you a refund.

Let me know what they say!

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