P Bag 00254
By fax to [xxx]
4th January 2010
To whom it may concern
As you will be aware we were contacted by [xxx] regarding the HP Compaq laptop that he bought from you on 29th October 2009.
As he reported shortly after his purchase there was a crack on the screen that he maintains was not caused by him. I am told that you sent this laptop for investigation last year and when it was returned you advised him that the damage was caused by his misuse of the device.
I would be very grateful if you can send us a copy of the report that refers to this misuse so that we can advise Mr [xxx] further.
As you will be aware Section 13 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations 2001 states that:
“Any supplier who offers a commodity or service to a consumer fails to meet minimum standards and specifications if … the commodity sold … is not of merchantable quality.”Cleary a broken screen would render a laptop “not of merchantable quality”.
Furthermore, the customer is clearly entitled to see evidence of any reports made that suggest he might have caused the damage. Section 15 (10 (b) of the Consumer Protection Regulations 2001 says that:
“A supplier of a commodity or of a service shall fail to meet minimum standards of performance if … the supplier quotes scientific or technical data in support of a claim unless the data can be readily substantiated”Finally, Sections 17 (1) (d), (e) and (f) of the Regulations states that the following are acts of “unfair business practice”:
“(d) causing a probability of confusion or of misunderstanding with respect to the authority of a salesperson, representative, or agent to negotiate the final terms of a transaction;
(e) causing a probability of confusion or of misunderstanding as to the legal rights, obligations, or remedies of a party to a transaction;
I would like to cover this issue further in a forthcoming newspaper column either in The Voice or Mmegi so would appreciate your rapid response.(f) entering into a transaction in which the consumer waives or purports to waive a right, benefit or immunity provided by law, unless the waiver is clearly stated and the consumer has specifically consented to it;”
On behalf of the Consumer Watchdog team