Friday, 16 June 2017

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Why won’t they fix my bed?

I bought a bed from a store in Francistown in March and it was delivered to me through their Serowe branch. Unfortunately when it was delivered I realised one of the pedestals had some scratches and I made their delivery guy aware of this right away and he then promised to replace the following day because it was just about knockoff time. He didn't show up the following day as promised so I called the Serowe branch manager. She wanted me to pay for transport to bring my new pedestal but I declined because i had already paid P100 for transport. She then told me they will assist but cannot exchange with the pedestals they have in their store rather they have to wait for another stock from their suppliers. After 3 weeks I realised I was not gonna get help so I went to see the Francistown store manager who promised to help me within a week. After a week I contacted him and he said he will definitely deliver the following week. It has been 2 weeks now and he's not even replying my messages. I'm so frustrated now because I do not believe I should be incurring extra cost on phone calls and trips to Francistown on a bed that I fully paid for.

You certainly should NOT be incurring extra costs like this.

I often wonder how certain store managers sleep at night. Or do they perhaps care so little about their customers that they don’t recognize when they’re not only disrespecting a customer, they’re also abusing them?

The matter is actually very simple, simple enough for even these managers to understand. They sold you something that was not “of merchantable quality” as required by Section 13 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations. It’s simply not good enough that the item you spent you money on wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t second-hand, it wasn’t a former display model, was it? If not, you had a right to expect it to be perfect.

This business of wanting you to pay to transport the bed back to them was ridiculous, just like the rest of what they’ve said. All these excuses are completely unacceptable and I think you need to escalate the situation. I’ll contact the Managing Director of the chain of stores and see if their senior management team can take an interest. It’s about time that someone in authority did something useful to help you.

They lied about the phone!

I got a case my sister bought a phone from a store at Rail Park Mall to the value of P500. On their advertisements they said the phone has WhatsApp and Facebook but the moment I used it I found that it does not support any of those features. She tried taking it back to the store but they refused to take it back and refund her as it’s still new. They’re saying the lady who sold it to her was transferred to their Game City branch and my sister must go and look for her there.

We need your help please.

I think this store needs a lesson in the Consumer Protection Regulations. And perhaps some medication. They need to learn for instance that Section 13 (1) (a) says that an item must be “of merchantable quality”, meaning it’s “fit for the purposes for which commodities of that kind are usually purchased, as it is reasonable to expect in light of the relevant circumstances”. The same section says that a product sold must “match any sample or description given” to a customer. So if the advertisement says it can run Facebook and WhatsApp then that’s what it must be capable of doing. And then Section 13 (1) (e) says that a supplier, like this store, “fails to meet minimum standards and specifications” if “the advertisement or representation of a commodity or service is made with the intent not to dispose of the commodity or service as advertised or represented”. Yet again, if the advertisement says it can do something, it must do that thing.

And this business about the person transferring to another store? Have they been smoking something illegal? What on Earth does that have to do with you? Are they saying that if she’d died they wouldn’t be liable? Are they insane? Haven’t they read Section 17 (1) (d) of the Regulations which forbids “causing a probability of confusion or of misunderstanding as to the legal rights, obligations, or remedies of a party to a transaction”. Put simply that means they aren’t allowed to say silly things.

I suggest you go back to this crazy store and outline your understanding of the Consumer Protection Regulations. Be prepared for being the only sane person in the store.

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