Friday 12 April 2019

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Where’s my phone?

On January 3rd I took my phone to a repair shop to get the charging system fixed. They took my phone and gave me a receipt for the cost of repairing it. I was told to come back after 2 days. Upon going there, they still had not fixed it and said they would call when done. Indeed they called to say I should collect my phone it has been fixed. I get there and they hand me my phone and the glass back cover is shattered, they explained it was an accident.

Now I insert my sim card and the phone has no signal. I confront them about the issue and they start telling me about software issues and so forth, so they said they will take a look at it and will call when its sorted out. So I go and research on Google if its possible for it to be a software problem only to find out that if you put a part that isn’t the same type as the original the network won’t work. It only uses the specific coded parts. I then go and tell them what I had researched, to find out they also found that to be the issue. So they said they would have to order the part. After a month I return to check on my phone and they still haven’t got the correct part. On top of that the phone is now scratched and doesn’t power on anymore and permanently locked. They promised to fix all that and replace the cracked covers. A month later I returned again and still the same story and they admitted that they can no longer fix the Phone because its an original "high end" and doesn’t take counterfeit parts. Now I asked them what’s the way forward because I brought my phone in good working condition and now the phone is totally dead. They don’t have a response. What can I do?

What can you do? You can expect a new phone.

This so-called “repair shop” have mistreated you comprehensively and have also probably acted illegally by using counterfeit parts. I suggest that you contact the good people at the Consumer Protection Unit in the Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry and ask them to flex their muscles in the direction of this disreputable company. Suggest to them that this company has breached almost every one of the Consumer Protection Regulations, in particular those related to offering goods and services that are “of merchantable quality” and delivered “with reasonable care and skill”.

From what you say, it’s clear that this company shouldn’t be in the phone repairs business at all. They need to be in the ‘giving you a new phone’ business.

Can I get a refund?

Kindly assist on how I should go about my issue. I purchased a TV on the 20th of January this year, the TV gave me problems and I returned on the 23rd of March after I logged a case on the 16th of March.

They called me today 4th of April saying I have been credited and should come and choose another TV as they don't have a similar TV to replace my faulty one. From the TVs they have they don't have the same size of TV with the same price that I purchased the now faulty one. I opted to be refunded as they don't have a similar TV within the same price range. They are refusing refunding saying I should choose another one and the don't have one and also don't have money to top up for a similar size of TV.

When a store sells something that isn’t “of merchantable quality” we, as consumers, have a right to have that problem fixed and the solution must be one of the three R’s: a refund, a repair or a replacement. However, the current rules suggest that it’s up to the supplier to decide which of those they offer you. So the store is entitled to offer you a replacement TV of the same value to the one you bought.

However, in your case it’s more complicated. If they don’t have a TV that matches the price and functionality of the one you bought their options are simple. They can either offer you one that’s better than the original or they can refund you your money. Is that perhaps too complicated for them to understand?

We’ll get in touch with the store and see if we can explain it to them inn very simple language.

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