Thursday 5 November 2009

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer's Voice 

I would like to take this opportunity to share my experience of poor customer service that I received at Carnival Furniture. I was offered a 3 piece Wembley bedroom suite that comes with a base set as an optional extra on the 29th September 2009. I went to their office to view the set which was in stock at the time. I signed the relevant documents and gave them my confidential information as requested. On the 1st October I gave them a deposit of P400 at their shop and I was told that the items will be delivered to my place.

A week I made a follow up and I was told to come to the shop that afternoon. They told me that the Manager said the set is out of stock even though it was there. The price that was used for my purchase had been P1,999 . I accepted what I was told and asked for a refund as I had no interest in any of their other items. The sales person left the shop and I was left behind with the manager. I told him I needed my cash back immediately as it would be difficult to come back at another time.

He told me that I will not get my refund as I didn’t have any proof to claim my money but I still have my receipt. Is this the way that customers should be treated?

No, no, no, no, NO!!!!!!

This is simply unacceptable. This is NOT the way a customer should be treated. You are absolutely, 100% entitled to a refund. Of course the store can have rules about how refunds are given, that’s perfectly reasonable. It might be too much to demand cash back from them if you had paid them the full price, it’s probably reasonable for them not to keep that sort of money on the premises. However you only paid them P400, surely they must have that sort of money available?

The Consumer Protection Regulations are perfectly clear. Section 15 (1) (e) says the store has failed “to meet minimum standards of performance if”:
“in a consumer transaction that is rescinded, cancelled, or otherwise terminated in accordance with the terms of an agreement, advertisement, representation, or provision of law, failing to promptly restore to the consumer entitled to it a deposit”
It’s quite simple. Carnival failed to deliver you the goods you had ordered and for which you had paid a deposit. The deal is therefore over, concluded, finished, completed, DEAD! They have your money and they have no choice but to give it back.

We called the branch you visited and spoke to the manager. He claimed to know nothing about the case and promised he’d call us back. Unfortunately he didn’t so we called another branch and asked to speak to the Managing Director. That wasn’t possible so we spoke to the other branch manager. He was very helpful and told us that he thought this was a simple case and the customer should get their deposit back immediately. He said he’d call the first manager and that it should be arranged.

However we’ve not heard anything back from anyone yet. We’ll keep you informed! 

[Last minute update. As I’m sitting here writing this we got a text message from the consumer telling us that she has received a full refund. Result!]

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