Saturday 2 March 2024

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

I want my locks!

I went to a tile shop to buy locks for a normal steel door frame that they costed me P3,420. When I got home with the locks my carpenter realized that the locks are big for my door frames also the locks are for wooden door frames. But during the transaction the sales rep did not mention that the locks are for wooden door frame therefore I feel deceived because of no transparency. They also did not explain to me about the refund policy of 15%. 

Kindly look into this matter before lot of people fall into the trap. I even gave the shop chance to find locks that are suitable for my door frames they refused. My intention is to get the service not a refund.

Unfortunately I don't think I have any good news for you.

When we buy goods from a supplier we're entitled to goods that do the job and that are correctly sold. If they sell us something that's faulty we have a right to return the goods and the supplier can choose whether to offer us a repair, a replacement or a refund.

A supplier also isn't allowed to lie to us about what goods can do or if they're suitable for a particular purpose. They must be honest about that. But this is the tricky part. It's up to us as customers to ask if the goods we buy are suitable for our needs. For example, if we buy a laptop we need to ask the salespeople whether it's the right model for our needs. If we buy building materials we need to ask similar questions. If we buy door locks we need to ask them if they're the right locks for our doors.

My understanding from when we spoke on the phone is that you didn't ask them about this. You selected the locks, paid for them and took them home. It was only later, after your carpenter tried to install them, that you discovered they were the wrong type.

We need to ask this. Did the store do anything wrong? Did they mislead you in any way? Did they sell you faulty locks? I don't think so. The good news is that the store has said they can take them back, even though they don't have to, but the bad news is that they want to charge you a fee for reversing the transaction, restocking them and repackaging the ones your carpenter opened. I suspect 15% is a fair price for that.

Will they pay?

Please I need help I don't know even what to do. I recently bought a car from a garage in Mogoditshane with the promise that the car has no fault. I tested the car myself and since I have no mechanical knowledge I took the car. A few days later I realized the aircon is not working so I went to the aircon specialist because I thought it's a minor thing. I only realized that I was now spending a lot of money on the car because I needed to buy new parts.

I told the garage and the guy is telling he we will give me something when he gets money so I requested for proof that I will get refund for the amount I used to fix the car but he is refusing to do so.

Please advise on what I should do in a situation like this.

I think you're right to insist that the car dealer puts their offer to refund you in writing. However, it's no surprise that he's refusing to do so. I think the best thing you can do is to approach the Competition and Consumer Authority and lodge a complaint with them. They've had some success with car dealerships and they have the power to get this guy to answer their questions.

However, there's a really important lesson here. Some of us have enough skill to give a second-hand car a good test before buying it but most of us don't. That's why it's really important to get any second-hand vehicle, no matter how cheap it is, inspected by a mechanic before you hand over the money.

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