Friday, 6 April 2012

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

In December I bought my husband a pair of leather shoes at a store in BBS worth P749.95. Around the end of February my husband noticed that one of the shoes was developing a hole on the side and the soles were getting chipped.

I took them back in March since I felt that it was too soon to be having such a problem especially for leather shoes. The ladies at the store told me that their manager wasn't around but will call me when he comes. He didn’t call and a week later I went there since they had the shoes in their possession. I found the manager and enquired.

He told me that he took pictures of the shoes and sent them to the suppliers who then told him that the problem was not a factory fault but wear and tear due to how they are used. I was shocked and I told the manager that I don't expect a shoe of that quality to last for not even 3 months considering that my husband drives to work and has another pair of shoes which he uses as well. The other shoes, which he has owned for the past 2 years, are still intact.

I thought that was a very unfair. The manager told me that if the supplier cannot take responsibility then he can’t either as it will be a loss to him. I was very frustrated and I told him that I regretted having bought these shoes from his store.

I don’t blame you for regretting your purchase. A pair of leather shoes like the ones you mentioned (I’ve removed the manufacturer’s name from your letter) should last for ages, not just a couple of months.

Firstly I think you should go back to the store and very politely explain that what he claims the manufacturer thinks is not relevant. HE, not the manufacturer, sold you a pair of decent leather shoes that clearly aren’t “of merchantable quality” as required by Section 13 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations. It’s up to him to provide evidence that your husband misused them if that’s what he thinks.

Secondly I’ll get in touch with the manufacturers to see if they want to protect their brand name. I suspect they’ll be cooperative.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

Last year July I bought a Nokia C3-01 at a store at Game city for P1,999. This year in Feb, I started experiencing problems using it because when I touch the icons on the screen it senses a different icon that I did not select. Because it is still under warranty (12 months) I took it back to the same shop in Francistown.

They told me that the repairs are done in Gabs, I let them take the phone to Gabs for repair because I was desperate to get the phone repaired. Approximately a week after, they phoned me to come collect the phone and be prepared to pay P75 as labor charge. I went to Francistown to collect the phone but I found out that the phone is not repaired and I should still pay the labor charge!

I refused to pay and left with the courtesy phone, since then I never went back to them. What can I do?

Let me get this straight. The store took your malfunctioning phone for repair, spent a week doing nothing and they want you to pay them for this? Which planet are they on?

You don’t have to pay for anything. You bought an expensive phone from a legitimate manufacturer and you have a right to expect it to work perfectly for the duration of the warranty. I assume it came with a 1-year warranty? That’s certainly what Nokia will offer with a legitimately shipped phone. Unless, of course, the store was selling a grey import? What did they tell you when you bought it?

I suggest that you politely tell the store that they’ve sold you a phone that is not “of merchantable quality” and that it’s their job to fix it, repair it or refund you. It’s their choice which of those they prefer. But it must be one of them. Demanding a labor charge for doing nothing is not an option.

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