Saturday 22 December 2012

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

Hope you will be able to help me with this one. In May 2012 we engaged a supplier based at the LEA factory shells in Gaborone to fix our sofas. We made a down payment of P3,600 upfront (cost being P5,600) and selected the material we preferred and expected the sofas to be delivered within 10 days.

He bought wrong materials which we did not accept and since then when we approach him about our sofas he tells us he does not have enough money to buy our materials and yet his business is still in operation? What is this, and what’s your advice on this? It’s been seven months without our sofas!

It sounds to me like you’ve been very patient but it’s now time to end your patience. I suggest that you write the guy a letter expressing your dissatisfaction and give him 7 days to resolve the situation. Make it clear that you hold him responsible for buying the wrong materials and that you expect him to either refund you all of the money you’ve paid him, or you expect your fully repaired sofa back.

Make it perfectly clear in your letter that if he fails to respond suitably you’ll be seeking an order from the Small Claims Court against him. Make sure he understands that you mean it!

Let me know how he responds.

Meanwhile, send me his cellphone number!

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I want to know how to lodge a complaint at consumer watchdog and if I have to pay for the services?

I approached a hair salon on the 21st September this year and I met a guy who promised to reconnect my dreadlocks. I was to attend a wedding on the 30th September but on the 21st he told me that my hair was too short to be reconnected and that I should wait for the hair to grow.

Since I was going for a wedding he said he will tint the hair and asked me to come the following day but when I came he was not there. When I called he told me that he is busy and set another appointment but he never came. I went for the wedding after that I came to him again he twisted my hair and on that he took the money and said he is going to finish the work on that day.

When we were about to join the hair he said my hair is too soft and I should go and wait for some days. I did that but after that he called me for twisting and when I arrived he told me he is held up somewhere. I waited and he never showed up and I asked for refund and he said he will refund on the 31st November and he never did that.

Firstly let me make this clear. Everything Consumer Watchdog does for individual consumers is, has always been, and always will be, entirely free.

You’re another person who’s been patient enough. It’s time to get demanding. Your demand should be for a full refund. Write him a letter explaining that he’s failed to honor the contract between the two of you and that he’s breached Section 15 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations by not offering a service with “reasonable care and skill”.

Make it clear that you’ll be seeking an order from the Small Claims Court for a full refund.

Meanwhile, send me his cellphone number!


A reader got in touch to celebrate Antoinette at Choppies Fairgrounds for being cheerful and helpful. Another reader celebrated Pearl at Water Utilities for actually being helpful and explaining something clearly.

I’m not the only person who wants to celebrate NBFIRA, the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority, for issuing a public notice to alert consumers about “high yield” investment schemes like EurexTrade which we should all know by now is a Ponzi scheme. Good for them!

Keep the celebrations coming in!

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