Saturday, 26 May 2018

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Where’s my bed?

We bought a bed at last year around June. In January the bed was not comfortable so we reported it and they said their vehicle was not available. We kept on reporting but no one showed up. In March I went to see the manager and she said they will sand someone to come get it but that didn’t happen. The first week of May I went there and found another manager and I explained my issue to him. He checked on their records and saw that for real we long reported the issue. He then said the bed we chose was for kids not adults. I was not there when my wife chose it and I don’t know if the sales who was helping her explained that to her. He then promised that he will send someone before end of week and yes they came to fetch it.

Now they are saying the bad is beyond repair and we should fix it with our own money even though we still have a warranty and we are still paying for it and its them who delayed to assist us before their bed got damaged more. We are sleeping on the ground as we speak its a week now. Now they are planning to give us second hand bad while still paying. Can you help us on how to resolve this issue?

This is a complicated one. Firstly, I’m glad you kept paying your instalments because that’s a common mistake that people make. They think that because they no longer have the goods they can stop paying but that’s a huge mistake. When you stop paying you immediately become the person in the wrong and from that moment the store isn’t obliged to do anything to help you.

In your case, even though you’re still paying the instalments, it’s still complicated. They’re saying that you bought a bed suitable for a child, not an adult, but can the store prove that you knew that? Can you prove that you didn’t?

I suggest you accept the second-hand bed as a temporary solution but make sure you don’t sign anything saying that this concludes the issue. Make it clear to them that you are only accepting it as a short-term solution. Meanwhile we’ll contact the store and see if they can’t be a little bit more helpful!

Must I pay the fee?

I have a question. My husband bought a car from a dealer in Mogoditshane. I didn't have enough cash so we used a credit card to pay. The car dealer did not have a swiping machine therefore he asked another shop to do the transaction. Now we are told we have to pay bank charges amounting to P1,950. The car was P58,000. Is this fair?

If I go to a supermarket and purchase goods with a credit card, they swipe what appears on the price tag. Any interest the bank will take care of. In this case why should I be charged bank charges separately?

Unfortunately I think you must pay the charge. When a company swipes a debit card or credit card they’re charged a fee by the bank. When we go shopping at a supermarket or a filling station, that fee is usually quite small and is included in the price of the purchase. Because it’s so small, customers don’t notice that they’re paying it. However, if you buy something as expensive as a car, the fee becomes enormous, like in this case and no company wants to pay a fee as high as this one.

To make matters worse in this case, the company who swiped your card were just doing you and the dealer a favour and they certainly don’t want (and nor should they) to be forced to pay P1,950 for doing you that favour.

Credit cards can be remarkably useful tools for certain types of transactions. You should certainly always use a Visa card if you’re booking a flight because Visa offers free travel insurance but you should always do your very best to pay off the balance you owe as quickly as possible because the interest rates are extremely high. Buying a car for P58,000 using a credit card when you don’t have the cash is going to be an extremely expensive way to do it. You’ll pay a lot more than the P1,950 transaction fee in interest payments. I suggest you find a way to pay off the card as soon as it’s possible to do so.

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