Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I reside in Serowe. I have a problem that I wish u could help me resolve. I bought a TV set on credit with a furniture store that I had to take back to them due to some social problems. Initially I paid the installments until I had financial problems and had to take it back to them since I couldn’t afford it. Later last year I realized they had taken my name to the credit bureau - ITC. I am shocked as da tv set is with them and have to pay for it yet not in my possession. I need your help.

I’m really sorry to hear about your problem. However I’m not sure there’s much we can do to help. The store was within its rights to do this.

Just because you returned the TV, that doesn’t mean your debt has gone away. When you returned the TV the store probably sold it to the highest bidder and the money the store got for what was then a second-hand, used TV, was put towards the amount you owed them.

However this isn’t going to pay off your debt. How much do you think they’ll get for a second-hand TV? Who can guarantee that they’ll even get a fair price for it? I know of a situation where repossessed items were sold to the staff of the store at a massive discount as a sort of bonus. Can you trust the store to get the best deal for you? Certainly not.

Unfortunately the store hasn’t actually done anything wrong. It’s not their fault that you had financial problems. Nevertheless I’ll get in touch with the store on your behalf but to be honest I wouldn’t be optimistic.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I would like you to help me in my situation in which I paid for chairs last year on the 20th December and they failed to deliver my chairs. The whole of December I was calling their office. On the 4th January I went to ask for a refund because they fail to deliver my chairs and up to today they are refusing to pay back my money. I went there once and call the manager twice after the 4th January. The response that I am getting from them is that I should wait until they call. The amount that I paid is P1000.

This seems very simple to me. The store has had almost two months to deliver your chairs. While I’m sure we all understand that Christmas and the New Year were busy times for everyone that’s over now. I suggest that you write them a letter and hand it to the store manager. In the letter say that your patience has run out. Tell them that you are cancelling your order with immediate effect and that, as required by Section 15 (1) (e) of the Consumer Protection Regulations, they must return to you the down-payment you gave them.

I suspect that as soon as you give them the letter they’ll promise a delivery within hours but then I think it’s up to you to decide whether you still want the chairs. Let me know how it goes?

Update: I heard from the store yesterday that the customer has been given a full refund.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #3

I saw an advert for a vacant house so I met with the guy who claimed to be the caretaker of the house. He said I should pay for the house to secure it. I paid him the sum of P1,600, P800 as deposit and first month payment. The day I was supposed to move to the house I got to the place but he was not there and the people I found there told me that they didn’t know him. I called him on his mobile and when we were supposed to meet he kept postponing and making excuses.

I reported the case to the police in 2010 and even today they have not been able to assist me. What can I do?

I think you need to be a lot more assertive with the Police. He’s stolen your money and even though we all agree this isn’t as serious as murder and rape he’s nevertheless a thief and a scammer and he deserves to face the consequences. Go back to the police station and ask to see the Station Commander and explain the situation to him or her. Meanwhile we’ll see what we can do to trace him!

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