Saturday 24 September 2016

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Where’s my refund?

On the 9th of September this year I visited a furniture store in Palapye. I wanted to buy a sleeper couch and I found one, it costed P2500 and I bought it cash. The sleeper couch I found in the shop was not in good condition and they promised that they have one in their warehouse and they will deliver it to my house before 1700 hrs in the evening. I said no problem make sure you deliver it because I am going to the cattle post and I want to use it there.

When I come to the shop around 1700, the manager told me that they dont have the sleeper couch in stock, the one they have to the other shops is not in good condition. I demanded the refund and they said they dont have cash they will give me the money on Saturday (10/09/2016). I sent my wife to collect the money they said they still dont have cash she will check on Monday. On Monday the same excuse was given to me until Friday (16/09/2016).

Now I dont know what to do please help me.

We hear this ridiculous excuse all the time. “We don’t have cash”.

Why is this your problem? Why does their lack of planning mean your rights can be ignored?

Section 15 (1) (e) of the Consumer Protection Regulations says that when a deal has been cancelled a supplier must “promptly restore” any deposit or payment that has already been made. Notice the word “promptly”. “Promptly” does not mean endless excuses and a lack of ability to make a plan.

I know that stores don’t like to keep large amounts of cash on the premises because of the security issues, I think we all understand that. But haven’t they heard of banks? They keep cash. Better still, why can’t they just take your bank account details and do an internet banking transfer?

Meanwhile we’ll get in touch with the store and see if we can encourage them to use their brains. Do you think they can find them?

I want my refund too!

I stayed at a Lodge for 2 nights instead of 3 which I indicated before arrival, despite the fact that I had paid in advance. Upon checking out I told the lady at the front desk that I had cancelled my third night and would like a refund. She called her manager who said they don’t have petty cash and since I paid electronically it can only be done at a later stage. They promised to communicate with me but that was the last time I heard from them.

I have made numerous phones calls to the lodge and they refer me to the owner who is based in Gaborone. At one point I was told to write an email to ‘bookings’ then I was told to email someone directly who seems to be the owner.

Despite calls and emails I am always told he will get back to me but he has never responded to my emails or
phone calls as his secretary always says he is not available, as she says all I can do is wait for his response.

Please advise.

What is it with getting refunds these days? At least the management of this lodge have heard of electronic payment mechanisms.

In a way you’re actually quite lucky. Many hotels don’t accept cancellations at the last minute unless they can quickly find another guest to occupy the room you’ve vacated. You can end up paying for a room you didn’t occupy which can be hugely frustrating as well as expensive.

But the facts in your case are different. The lodge promised you a refund and you therefore deserve exactly that. And like the other case this week you deserve it “promptly”.

We’ll get in touch with the lodge and ask them to stop fooling around.

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