Saturday 27 April 2024

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Where's my deposit?

Kindly assist here. Last year, I made a deposit at a store so I could lay-bye a Sony Soundbar. When I went to settle the balance, I was told that the soundbar is out of stock, and that their policy was to NOT keep lay-byed items in the premises until they are cleared off. I asked them to refund the deposit I had made, but they insisted that they'll order one for me, and that it would arrive within the week. Mind you, last year's "Black Friday" special was still on, all over town. I went back to them 10 days later, and I was told the exact same thing, that "it's not in stock" This was around the 7th of December 2023.

I asked, yet again, to be refunded and they told me to submit my bank statements on some, "it's protocol" and I complied with their tedious 'protocol'. I was assured that I'd get my money "in a week or 2. I went back to them around the 19th, and then every week since then, and each time, I was told a different story. Promises were made to me each time, and not a single one was seen through. Long story short, my refund has been pending, and it has been 4 months now. I relocated, so I don't go to them as often but I call them every week, and I'm just told "We'll get back to you!" which they never do! With that, kindly assist me?

This is intolerable in so many different ways. Firstly, my understanding of a lay-bye is that the item is reserved for you until you've made the final payment. It might not be the exact item you saw in the store but somewhere there should be an identical item for you ready to pick up. It should be quite simple. But not in this case.

I think you were right to demand a refund and it shouldn't have been a complicated thing for them to process. Yes, there should have been some paperwork to complete, confirming that you really want to cancel the deal and for them to process whatever they need to do but I can't see how it would take more than a few days at the most. It's 2024, I'm sure they have the technology to do this. Even if they don't and they're still operating with pieces of paper and pencils, it shouldn't take more than four months to give you your money back. I'll contact them.

Update: They tell me your refund has already been processed. They'll call you.

Can I cancel the policy?

I need your help please. we were approached by an insurance broker and he was telling us about their life cover and investment policy so I got interested but he didn't mention that he is the broker for a particular insurance company which I realised later. I emailed him telling him to cancel the policy because I don't wany anything associated with them because they once did something not good to me. So he didn't reply and I called him and he told me it is not possible to cancel and I will cancel after a year. I told him I will approach the insurance company and he told me they are going to refer me back to him. I realised yesterday when i received my payslip that they have deducted without even enquiring from me. Please help me I want to cancel this policy please.

I think this will be easy to fix. The insurance company will understand that the policy was incorrectly opened and I'm certain they'll close it as soon as you speak to them.

The bigger issue is this broker. He simply can't be trusted. There is a common misunderstanding about the difference between an insurance broker and an insurance company. The most important difference is that the broker works for YOU, not the insurance company. It's the job of the broker to find the right policy for you, a policy that meets YOUR needs. Clearly this guy is working for his own interests and is making up stories when he says you can't cancel the policy. That's simply a lie. Insurance policies have a cooling off period that NBFIRA insist upon. I think we both need to alert NBFIRA that they have a rogue broker to deal with.

Update: The insurance policy has been cancelled.

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