Saturday 17 February 2018

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Where's my laybye?

Report 1. I made a laybye purchase in a shop that was operating in Game City. Yesterday I went to the shop wanting to pay the remaining balance so that I could collect the bed I had purchased. Unfortunately I found the shop closed and locked with no sign of operation. I called one of the employees and he told me that the shop had been closed indefinitely and could not provide further details. Please advise on how this should be handled since I have paid P4,500 towards my purchase. I have the receipts for the payments I have done so far and was remaining with a balance of P1,000 to collect the bed.

Report 2. I purchased a couch from a store in Game City in December 2017 and till this date they have not delivered the couch to me. When I call to enquirer they keep telling me that the owner of the store has fled the country and people want their rentals so they have closed up all his shops as well as his warehouse therefore they can't deliver the couch. This is so unfair to me as I have fully paid for the couch so please assist me on a way forward regarding this matter.

This is very sad. Two different reports on the same day from different people with the same experience of the same store! Unfortunately, I suspect there's little that can be done if the owner has skipped the country. You'll probably have a legal claim against the company but that's only useful if the company still has assets that you can claim against. You'll probably need to consult an attorney to see if this is possible. They can investigate what's happening with the company and its assets but I'm not optimistic.

I'm sorry that I don't have any better news for you.

Did I really sell my car?

I sold my car to a certain individual. He test drove it and was happy with it. We left Gaborone and went to Mochudi to get the cash and back to Gaborone to drop me home and he went back home to Mochudi. The next day around 10am he calls me and says my car is overheating (just the temp gauge is going up) I ask him how come now yet yesterday it was alright hence we even drove about 120km or so and it has no issues. He demands his money back and he says i should take my car back, He hasn't been using it ever since Friday but I told him thats not possible because I have already spend the money and i gave him a car which he was satisfied with hence he took it. We did not make a written agreement it was verbal.

He then called me again complaining that the signatures on the blue book are not the same with the ones on the id copy so they declined to help him change names at transport. The signature is from the previous owner not me. I never changed it when I bought it from the previous owner because I knew the guy didn't really see the need of changing it and we never made a written agreement with the guy before.

I would really appreciate a way forward to this because this guy is really bothering me.

This is much more complicated than you might think. I'm not an attorney but I think you're in a very strange legal situation. I suspect that you might have sold a car that you didn't actually own. Or rather a vehicle you can't prove that you owned. If you think about it, there is no proof that the car belonged to you. There was no written sale agreement that described the change of ownership and the blue book, the vehicle registration document, still shows the details of the previous owner.

The guy who bought the car might even be in a position to suggest that you sold the car illegally and there's not much you can do to prove anything different.

Given that you can't prove that the car belonged to you and that you are therefore in a dangerous situation, and given that the car isn't working properly and without a sale agreement you can't prove the buyer accepted that the car was in working order I don't think you have much choice. You need to find a way to refund him the amount he paid you and take back the car and get it in your name.

The lesson is simple. Written agreements are essential whenever you sell something. And make sure you change the ownership of a vehicle when you buy it!

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