Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I purchased a laptop computer for my niece in July 2009 on hire purchase. She is a student in South Africa and required it for school work.

In June 2011 the computer exploded when switched on but surprisingly it was not plugged to the power point in the room. The matter was reported to the store who required us to bring an affidavit which we gave them later in June when my niece was home. The shop staff attending to us then informed us that the affidavit should have been made by me as I made the original purchase and paid the installments so I did this in July.

Last week the store informed us on 6 October 2011 that the Insurance cover could not be extended on mechanical faults.

We appeal to you for assistance on this matter as we argued that part of the cost for which we pay installments covered the insurance for eventualities such as the equipment catching fire and is rendered unusable. I other words, the insurance should cover it.

This depends entirely on what the insurance cover policy says but I’d be intrigued to see an insurance policy that excludes the laptop going wrong. It’s probably a completely different matter but I checked the store’s web site and it explains the warranty they offer. Some of the terms are bizarre to say the least. For instance their warranty won’t cover “any defect arising out of the design of the appliance”. So if the laptop was designed badly it’s not their fault? I think not.

Anyway, we’ll get in touch with the store and see if they can come up with a solution.

[Update: Problem sorted. HiFi Corporation, the store in question, have sorted it all out very nicely.]

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I am so confused and stressed and kindly need your help and advice. On the 1st of June I borrowed P500 from a certain lady. The amount was to accumulate by 30% interest every month till my final settlement. I agreed to pay it by end of June in full as I expected a payment somewhere but till today I never got paid, but I tried to at least to pay P150 interest every month till I settle.

To my surprise the lady sent me a text demanding the full amount sometimes around the 15th of August and I did not reply the message. On the 29th of August I gave her P150, and on the 29th of September I went to give her another 150 and she refused to take it.

Yesterday when I went to collect my post I found a letter from her attorneys demanding P1,000 for her and P691.20 for themselves in 7 days or they will issue a summons. The letter was dated 7th of September 2011 and it states that I failed, refused and or neglected to pay as agreed or at all but I’m not refusing to pay, I do not have the full amount for now but I am willing to pay. Please help me what are my rights and what should I do.

I’m very suspicious about this. Firstly, I wonder if the lender is registered with NBFIRA? When we got in touch with the reader she confirmed that the lender was an individual, not a company. I wonder therefore how she can be charging interest on a loan like this. You’d think that the law firm would know about this, wouldn’t you?

Also I think it’s very important to make it clear to the attorneys that they are acting on incorrect advice from the lender. You haven’t “failed, refused or neglected” to repay the loan, you’ve been doing your best in the circumstances.

We’ll speak to the attorneys on your behalf and suggest they go back to their client and straighten things out a bit.

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