Saturday 22 December 2018

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Why won’t they fix it?

I bought my son a tablet for P399 and its still under warranty. Now after two weeks my son tells me the screen broke and I decided to check with the store for repairs. They said they don't repair broken screens, so I asked where I can get replacement screen and they said I should check one of the shops at the bus rank.
To cut the story short I went all over looking for the screen replacement and I failed to get one since July.

I decided to go back and I explained the above to the store where they also felt my concerns and struggles. They called me after few days and explained that they can help me provided I pay P300 for screen, I then told her that am not happy because the price is worth buying a new one.

She referred me to the manager who also said he can only help me by replacing the tablet with another one provided I pay P300 and that's an instruction he got from his superiors in South Africa. I am not impressed at all with this because I even pleaded with manager to say they can’t charge me almost the same amount as new tablet and I even offered to at list pay P200.

I now want my money back so that I can go and buy item which has spare parts around. I feel this is not right. We are been sold product which cannot be repaired any way in our country.

I’m sorry to hear about your problem.

Unfortunately, there is currently no right for a consumer to demand a refund. If a product is faulty a consumer can demand one of the three Rs: a refund, repair or replacement but it’s normally up to the store to decide which of these they choose to offer you. And that’s only when a product is faulty or if the item was mis-sold.

However, in your case, the product isn’t actually faulty. It was your son who accidentally damaged the screen of the device and they are therefore under no obligation to repair it, replace it or refund you.

I can understand your frustration about the difficulty in repairing the screen but there is no requirement on a company to repair a product damaged by the customer. I suspect that the offer of a discounted tablet might be the best option for you.

Why isn’t she covered?

I need help. Apparently my Grandma has been using a funeral plan and she is on retirement so she has been paying through hand delivery and defaulted for three months now she wanted to pay her arrears because she had no cash. Now they told her that her policy has been cancelled, mind you she has joined the policy since 2001 to date. Please help me.

Unfortunately, this is how insurance products work. You pay a monthly premium and in return the insurance company takes on the risk associated with the event you’re insurance against happening. It doesn’t matter whether the policy covers your vehicle, your house, your health or your life, the insurance company will pay the costs (or most of them) if something bad happens.

However, the small print of any insurance policy, such as your grandmother’s funeral plan, will contain a clause saying that if you default you won’t be covered. I haven’t seen this particular policy but it’s likely that cover stopped after your grandmother missed a payment or two. It doesn’t matter to the insurance provider how long she’s been with them, when she stopped paying, she stopped being covered.

It might be worth asking the insurance provider if your grandmother can pay all the premiums that she missed, maybe they can reinstate the policy? There’s no guarantee that they will but it might be worth a try.

If they say no, it might just be simplest for your grandmother to start a new funeral plan. There might be a waiting period but at least she’ll get some cover again. It might even be a good opportunity for her to shop around and get a better policy.

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