Saturday 15 April 2023

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Must he pay?

Hello Richard, I have a question pertaining to insurance companies. About a year ago, my dad was involved in an accident on a gravel road. Our car was badly ruined, the whole front was bad. And the land cruiser involved had just a minor scratch on door. The police were called to the scene and it was concluded that my dad was at fault.

Dad agreed to pay the P1,000 charge, however no statement or whatever formal writing was made other than the receipt we got. The police officer advised that we don't make any fuss about the whole thing since it will mean expense and a waste of time. My dad and the other guy agreed that each of them will fix their own car. The other guy even said that his car is ensured so the insurance will cover it. Still no writing was made.

Now it's been a whole year and my father is receiving calls from someone saying he's calling from the insurance company following the accident. They're even texting my father saying he should deposit around P70,000.

Mind you these are just calls and messages from some numbers that we can't call back. There is still nothing formal or any sort of writing sent. I wanted to ask if it's really true that an insurance company can demand money from a third party that they don't have any contract with? Is this legit?

My dad is old and we're having a hard time having to research about the insurance. Please help.

I'm very sorry to hear about this and the stress this must be causing you and your father.

Unfortunately, this is exactly how these things work. When there's been an accident it's the responsibility of the guilty party to pay the bills. Your father was charged by the police so he's the guilty one. He must pay the repair bills.

If your father had a vehicle insurance policy then we'd have good news. The insurance company would pay the bills for him, minus any "excess" included in the policy but it looks like he didn't have insurance. Yes, the other guy had insurance which covered his repair costs but it doesn't change the fact that it's your father's job to pay the bills. The other guy's insurance company is entitled to recover their losses from your Dad.

The only advice I can give is that your father needs to talk to the insurance company and see if he can arrange a payment plan that he can afford and they'll accept.

This is a very good example of why vehicle insurance should be compulsory. It saves people like your Dad from a life-changing, crippling debt.

They won't take it back!

I bought a phone for someone and paid P3,200 for it on the 28th February and received it on 3rd March but they refused to take it, requesting for money instead. I contacted the dealer who sold me the phone and he told me to return so that he can sell it and give me my refund. I returned the phone on the same day (3rd March). Now the guy is telling me that he hasn't sold the phone because the person I bought it for had unboxed it so he won't refund me.

So I was wondering what to do on this matter?

Unfortunately I don't think there's much you can do. The store sold you a phone that was in good working order and was exactly what you requested. They've done nothing wrong. They were under no obligation to take the phone back and sell it again, that was just good will. The problem is that the phone is no longer "new" because the box was opened and if they wanted to sell it again they would need to disclose that it was second-hand and sell it at a reduced price.

I suspect that the best thing you can do is sell the phone yourself. You won't get the full amount you spent but something will be better than nothing.

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