Saturday 30 January 2021

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

They won't fix my phone!

Hello Sir, I need your help, I took my phone for screen repair on 21 December 2020. On 22nd the phone went blank and I took it back to the shop and they refused to help me. I went to the Consumer Affairs office to report on the 19th of this month and they told me they will call the man but they haven't got back to me.

Please help me. 

Yet again a store needs a little education on their obligations. Or maybe they know their duties already and have decided to ignore them? Either way they need to fully understand that consumers have rights and aren't afraid to use them. 

I messaged the store inviting them to consider their obligations under the Consumer Protection Act and asking whether they might be more helpful. They responded by saying they offered "no guarantee" on screens of brand new phones and that the receipt also said there was no guarantee. They also said that you agreed to this by signing the receipt before collecting the phone.

Well, that's nice but it's also nonsense. I messaged the store telling them that they're surely aware that 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".
I also reminded them that Section 16 (2) of the Act says that a consumer: 
"may return goods to a supplier in their merchantable or original state, within six months after the delivery of the goods, without penalty and at the supplier's risk and expense" 
if they failed to offer goods in working order.

As for their claim that you agreed not to have any rights, that's also silly. Section 23 of the Act forbids a supplier from requiring a consumer to "waive any right" or allowing a supplier to "waive any liability".

This supplier has clearly failed to honour their obligations under the Consumer Protection Act. They have also failed to treat you with the decency that a decent company would offer. Do they really want to be famous for this?

My phone doesn't work!

Please assist me, I bought a phone in December and I am always missing calls it rings sometimes and most of the time it doesn't ring, I can't even take pictures. I went to the shop about the issue of not taking pictures. They said memory card could be having viruses which I always bought from them and they formatted it I went home withing 2 days the phone did the same thing. Today I went back to ask them to either give me another phone or I top up and get a better one the lady refused and said they don't exchange and they don't refund, they wanted to remain with the phone and fix it. I couldn't leave it because I thought since the phone doesn't even have a month they can help me better. Please assist they even refused to give me the owner/managers number.

Ok, is this yet another cellphone provider that thinks the law doesn't apply to them?

Maybe not. I contacted this store and they responded quite quickly.

They said
"Good morning Sir. Indeed the customer came here complaining about the memory card of which we formatted. The second time he came saying the memory isn't working and he has now removed it but he didn't bring the memory card to us. The third time he came with the card of which I replaced and gave him a new one."
So hopefully this will fix your problem. It's a shame it took us to escalate the issue but at least there's been some progress.

The lesson here is never to give up. If a store lets you down, just politely assert your rights, explain what you need them to do and very often they'll be reasonable people and fix your problem. If that doesn't work, then escalate the problem to the management and that might help too. If that doesn't work, then you can always come to Consumer Watchdog.

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