Saturday 18 December 2021

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Where's my stuff?

In September 2020 I paid for building material amounting to P15,000. Then my builder lost the receipt/invoice. I report the issue to the supplier. Their Security Manager advised me to give them 3 months for them to check if the material did not leave their shop. After 3 months the manager kept telling me they have not yet managed to resolve my issue. I tried to go to other managers in the shop they told me he is the only one I have to deal with.

I went to Consumer Affairs and they told me there is nothing much to do because its me who lost the receipt. They advised me to be patient with them. They talked with the Security manager but they eventually gave up. I have been patient with the Security Manager even up to now. They are still telling me they have not yet balanced their books, therefore, they can not help me.

I need you advice on what I can do now.

This is really unacceptable. I understand that you lost your receipt and that makes life a little bit more difficult for the store. I get that and I'm sure you do too. However, I can understand this being difficult only if the store doesn't keep any records. But it's 2021. They'll have a computerised point of sale system that connects to their billing system and they can easily find a record showing that you bought these supplies on a particular date and a particular time. If you paid for the goods using your bank card they'll definitely have very detailed records but even if you paid cash they a professional supplier will still have records.

There are two possibilities. Either they don't have detailed records of things they've sold in which case they're incompetent and can't be trusted or they can't be bothered to check for you in which case they're also incompetent and can't be trusted.

I'll get in touch with the store for you and remind them that they have an obligation to act professionally, promptly and respectfully. They can't wait 15 months without giving you what you paid for and make up excuses about why they can't.

I need that money back!

Richard I need your help because I feel I have been unfairly mistreated. On the 1st December I ordered a smart watch online from a local company, it costed P499. The site promises free next day delivery. After 2 days with no word from them I called and the man told me the watch is out of stock, and he promised to get back to me with a solution to my predicament. I waited for a call which never came through, had to call him several times until I was referred to someone else who he said he was his brother. He advised I top up with P200 to get a different watch which I did instantly. I was told the watch was gonna be sent through the following day. 2 more days pass with no watch or an explanation on what the hold up is. I'm told the brother is in SA and he is the only one who can confirm the shipment of my order. I eventually get assistance from someone else and he assured me he will send the watch on the 9th. When the watch is about to be sent they told me they are sending me one that costs P529 but I paid P699.) He eventually sent the watch.

Now here is the thing, They advertised something which is not in stock and it's still advertised as available. They failed to communicate with me unless I called them. I had to pay for the delivery myself because they didn't pay the couriers. Right now I am an unhappy client, feeling unfairly treated and I want some of my money back.

It's not even about the money, it's about the principle. Please help.

I think we need to teach this company a few lessons. Firstly, they need to learn some common courtesy. You don't treat a customer with such rudeness.

Then they need to learn about Section 5 of the Consumer Protection Act which is called "Prohibition of false or misleading representations". This section talks very clearly about making false claims in advertisements. Then there's Section 7 which is entitled "Bait advertising" and this talks about the same things. It also says that a supplier who breaches these rules on advertising can face "a fine not exceeding P50 000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or to both". I don't think they need to go to prison yet. That's unless they fix this problem and offer you the money you're owed. Then I think handcuffs might be necessary.

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