Saturday, 2 May 2020

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Must they fix my damaged suite?

I have an issue with Lewis Rail Park. On January 21 I bought in cash a 3/4 and single beds for my kids. We paid and were promised to get the beds the same day and were later told it will be the next day.

One bed came with no wheel attachment and we dismissed it as minor. If was only today, due to the lockdown that we move the beds for the 1st time to put them on top of the other we notice that the beds are very poor quality and the mattress is not the changeable one. The top and bottom are not the same unlike we indicated when buying. The guys who delivered set up for us and we never paid attention. I checked the receipts and there is damaged written on the receipts and it was never mentioned. We are to blame for not paying attention but this is printed out. We wouldn’t pay 2.7 for a bed that is damaged when we could buy a good quality one at that price.

On the receipts. they have no contacts or name of the manager. I feel so cheated and keep blaming us but then who valued the beds to be worth 2700 each? How do I get my case to be heard?

All I want is beds worth 2.7 each.

There are several important lessons to be learned from this experience. Perhaps the first, and most important thing is never to sign anything you haven’t read. I suspect that when they delivered the beds, the delivery guys asked you to sign a delivery note. If you’d looked closely you would have seen the note saying that the goods were damaged and that would have given you an opportunity to reject them. However, all is not lost. I think you still have the right to tell the store that you didn’t choose to buy damaged goods, you had a right to expect goods in perfect condition. You should tell the store this in very simple terms. Section 15 (1) of the Consumer Protection Act says that a consumer has “the right to receive goods which are of good quality, in good working order and free of defects”. You should tell them that.

You should also make it clear to the store that they failed to make it very clear that the goods were damaged. Section 24 of the Act says “A supplier shall ensure that every term and condition in a contract is brought to the attention of the consumer, especially terms or conditions that … limit the liability of the supplier”. They were required to bring the fact that they were damaged to your attention, not hide it from you.

I contacted Lewis Head Office some weeks ago but I still haven’t heard back from them. I think we both need to be a little bit more assertive with them. We’re not giving up!

Must they fix my suite?

I have a matter I’d love to share with you. I bought a 3-piece lounge suite from a furniture store in Molepolole in 2017.The total purchase price was P20,654.15 on hire purchase. Now the suite is cracking and the coat eroding, even the one i don’t sit on. I stay alone. And even the piece I don’t use at all is peeling. It looks like cheap material. My efforts to call them are in vain.

How may I approach this matter? I feel robbed to be honest.

Here’s another lesson we all need to learn. Firstly, as I’ve mentioned many times before, hire purchase is a very expensive and high-risk way to buy things. You spent over P20,000 on a lounge suite. I guess that the cash price was probably half of that. Add in the profit margin that the store is entitled to make and you probably have an item that cost them just a couple of thousand to make. The lesson is that not only is it an expensive way to buy things, it’s also a very expensive way to buy very cheap things. Cheap things that don’t last very long.

That’s another lesson. How long these things last. It’s no surprise that goods you buy on hire purchase over two years only have a warranty lasting one year. That’s because the store doesn’t expect them to last more than a year because they know how cheaply they were made.

Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s anything you can do. The goods are now far out of their warranty and the store no longer has any obligation to fix them. I’m sorry, it’s a painful lesson.

No comments: