Monday, 16 December 2019

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Where’s my ottoman? Where’s my refund?

I ordered an ottoman amounting to P2,659 on 11th of September 2019 which was supposed to be delivered within 6 weeks, Unfortunately after making payment my order was never placed. I called three weeks after payment following up on the order and was informed it would come 8 weeks later, I didn't get it. I called and it turns out my order was never placed in the first place. They tried to make me get a display model whilst I await the one I had initially ordered and I refused. I told them I want my money back. Unfortunately you can't get it there and then so they make me fill in some forms and ask for my id and official banking details which I gave after giving them a hard time since I was never requested all these things when I was making the purchase. 7 days later no payment no feedback. I literally had to call and nothing has come through till now. The documents for the refund were sent on 14 November.

It’s a fundamental fact about human beings that we all make mistakes. We’re not robots, we’re not computers, we’re fallible. We forget things and we get things wrong. We’re human. Unfortunately, the store you’ve been dealing with seems to be VERY human. They seem to make a LOT of mistakes.

As a consumer you have a right to expect the store to fix their mistakes and then not to make any more of them. Section 14 (1) of the new Consumer Protection Act says that consumer have a right to expect “services in a manner and quality the consumers are reasonably entitled to expect”. We can’t expect miracles and we can’t expect stores never to make mistakes but what I think that means is that we CAN expect a supplier to fix mistakes promptly when they happen. Clearly this store has failed to do that.

I contacted the store and they responded quickly. They told me that you had refused to give them your ID documents but then went to say that “this does not stop us paying her”. We have to ask why they asked for them if they never really needed them?

They continued to say that they would get their Account Department to refund you as soon as possible. Please let me know when that happens?

Where’s my loan?

Help me here sir I’m frustrated. I applied for a loan from my bank around 18th and even today the loan has not been credited. The first week the excuse was that it cannot be approved without digital account opening. I spend two weeks without that account because apparently the system was down. Finally they gave me the debit card but now we are going to the end of another month. Our services in Botswana kills a lot of people dreams. Knowing that normally a loan doesn’t take more than 5 days I laybyed some material for 2,000. I am on the verge of losing that amount because the bank is busy frustrating me. Please help if possible.

The first thing everyone should understand about getting a loan from a bank is that it’s not a right, it’s a commercial decision that a bank takes once they’ve balanced the opportunity of making some money from their customer and the risk of losing money if the customer doesn’t make their repayments. Quite often we hear from customers who have failed to get a loan and complain that the bank was unfair by not lending to them. I often respond by asking them if they are required to lend their money to any friend or acquaintance who asked to borrow money?

However, in your case, they clearly HAVE approved your loan. They gave you a debit card attached to the loan account which suggests to me that they’re prepared to lend to you, but they’re taking their time finalising the process. It’s really not good enough. I’ll contact your bank and see if they can’t speed up a little.

Meanwhile, forgive me for telling you off, but it was very unwise to commit yourself to the lay-bye before you received the loan in your account. Even if you were sure that the loan would be approved, which is never certain, you must always assume that there will be delays before you get the money in your hands.

With luck, the bank will do its best to be more helpful when we contact them.

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