Saturday 3 June 2023

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Where's my phone?

Hello Richard. We are facing a crisis here and I need help because I'm dealing with a stubborn and arrogant man from a cellphone shop. I bought my phone from some store in Rail Park Mall on the 5th of May, it's a Huawei Y7. 

First, I encountered a fault of it restarting here and there, had to return it to the store and was told there is no stock I should come the next day, the next day the phone was replaced.

The second one also got battery issues, the battery doesn't last more than 3 hours and I had to return it to the store and the shop owner only charged the phone and said the problem is the charger not the phone battery. Okay, the next day I noticed there was no change, went back to the store to demand a refund because already I was spending much money on transport to reach there.

He told me "there is no refund and if I need it there will be a 20% deduction". I asked which policy is that he told me "it's his company law his just gives it by word of mouth" I demanded the phone model to be changed to another of the same amount since Huawei was being trouble and he response was "he will deduct 20% from my money". He still emphasized its his store laws, then he started being so arrogant and he was like "you can go wherever you want, I am done talking to you" yesterday that's when I got such a response.

I know that readers of The Voice know by now about the Consumer Protection Act but it's obviously time to remind this store about what they say. Section 15 (1) of the Act says that a consumer "has the right to receive goods which are of good quality, in good working order and free of defects". In other words, the things we buy should work. It's that simple. However, we all know and understand that occasionally problems happen so that's when Section 16 of the Act is useful. This says that if there's a problem with an item within 6 months of the purchase, a consumer can return the item to the place they bought it and the supplier can choose whether to repair it, replace it or refund the customer. That's in addition to any warranty that the manufacturer offers which usually lasts for a year.

You did that but clearly there's a serious problem with this batch of phones because an identical replacement failed with a different problem. That's very unlikely. So we have to ask, are these phones even new? A batch of new phones shouldn't have any faulty ones, let alone two.

I contacted the store and suggested they come up with a solution they can offer you. Let's see if they can just give you a working phone or a refund. It's not complicated, is it?

And another thing. Shop owners don't get to decide which law they obey.

Where's my investment?

This insurance is a scam. I joined 7 years ago (2016) for P370 per month. The insurance had a hospital care package in which I was told that upon my hospital admission of up to 3 nights, I will receive a cash of P89,000. Today its a whole new story when I called to inquire about the policy. They even told me that it has an "investment" which has accumulated only P1,600 over 7 years.

Where can I get help because it wasn't only me that joined but other 100's of people who fell for these predators.

Clearly something is strange here. Firstly, there's a lot of confusion about what this policy is. Is it a hospital insurance plan or an investment scheme? Or both?

Many long-term investment plans involve commission paid to the agent that sold the product. Very often their commission is 'front-loaded' meaning they take their earnings at the beginning of the policy period, not over the whole period of the plan. You only start to earn money after that period is concluded. But the maths doesn't seem right to me. If you paid P370 per month for 7 years, there should be around P30,000 in the fund. I'm sure the agent didn't take more than P28,000 in commission.

You need to ask the insurance company what's going on here. Ask for a full statement that explains the numbers they've given you.

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