Friday, 9 September 2011

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I received an email from DHL saying that they had failed to deliver a parcel to me because the address was wrong. Is this true?

No, it most certainly is NOT.

Readers should be very careful about emails like this. The full email said:
“Dear Customer, 

The courier service was not able to deliver your parcel at your address.
Cause: Mistake in address

You may pickup the parcel at our post office personally.

The delivery advice is attached to this e-mail.
Print this label to get this package at our post office.
Please do not reply to this e-mail, it is an unmonitored mailbox!

Thank you,
DHL Delivery Services.”
First question. If the address was wrong, how did they know who to send the email to? Also, why isn’t the email addressed to you personally rather than just “Dear Customer”?

More worrying was that attached to the email was a zipped file. “Zipping” is a very popular way of compressing or reducing the size of a file that is attached to an email but it also can be used to hide what the attachment actually is. In fact the attachment in this case was a virus program that could have caused untold damage to your computer.

For once this isn’t in fact a scam. Nobody is trying to get money out of you this time. However this is a deliberate attempt to hijack your computer. Quite what would happen next I don’t know but whatever it is, you don’t want it. Don’t ever be tempted to open attachments in emails like this.

Finally you DO have an up-to-date anti-virus package on your computer don’t you? If not there are several that are entirely free and might save you from a lot of trouble. I’ve put links to the ones we’ve used in the past on our blog. (Microsoft Security Essentials and AVG)

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I wish to bring to your attention a personal complaint I have against a store. The fact of the matter is that I bought a pair of shoes at the value of P305 from them. To my disappointment the shoes got destroyed on the very first day I wore them. They broke beyond repair. To my futher disappointment when I went to report the issue at the shop,I was told I could not be assisted in anyway. I feel I have been unfairly treated as I have spent a lot of money on the shoes that I had thought will last me long. Yes I had seen the note that says NO REFUND,but I just bought the shoes with the hope that its Quality looking at the Price.

So it would be painful not to be reimbursed or get the shoes changed like they said. I am therefore appealing to your honourable office to assist me in the above matter.

I’m very sorry to hear of your problem. What actually happened to destroy the shoes?

It's simply not acceptable of the store to tell you that they can’t help you. Section 13 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations requires suppliers to offer goods that are "of merchantable quality". That means "fit for the purposes for which commodities of that kind are usually purchased, as it is reasonable to expect in light of the relevant circumstances".

Clearly shoes should be wearable for a reasonable period of time, subject to normal "wear and tear". So long as you didn't do anything to mistreat or damage them you have a right to shoes that function properly.

However the store is entitled to decide how they respond to a complaint like this. They are permitted to refuse a refund (so long as they made that clear from the outset) but they MUST offer a replacement or a repair instead.

I suggest that you contact the store and explain that you've spoken to us, explain about Section 13 (1) (a) and see if they are prepared to replace the shoes.

Let me know how this goes.

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