Sunday 31 March 2019

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Where’s my money?

I bought a second hand car in December 2018 from a certain garage in Mogoditshane and the car had a lot of faults which the owner had promised he will fix before I take the car. To my surprise he did nothing and the car almost killed me on my way to my home village.

I contacted him and he agreed that I should return the car and he will replace with another. I waited till end of January for a replacement to no avail. In mid February I told him now I need my money back. He gave me a cheque but the money in his account is not enough. He keeps postponing the days I need your help in making him pay.

You might not realise it but you’re actually quite lucky. Many second-hand car dealers would have washed their hands of this situation and told you that they weren’t going to help. At least this one has indicated that he’ll do the decent thing. That was probably because of the danger the car posed to you and the realisation that if you had been harmed his reputation and his business would have suffered.

The other good news is that you now have a very powerful case against him. Yes, he sold you a vehicle that wasn’t “of merchantable quality” as required by Section 13 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations but then he did something much, much worse. He gave you a dud cheque.

Section 23 of the National Clearance and Settlement Systems Act states that “Any person who knowingly draws or issues a cheque … against which there are no sufficient funds in his account at a financial institution on which the cheque or other payment instrument is drawn shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding P1500 or 3 months imprisonment or to both.”

Selling you a dodgy car will get him in trouble. The bounced cheque could get him jail time. I suggest you tell him this and see how quickly he responds. If he doesn’t then maybe we need to find someone with a uniform, handcuffs and the power of arrest?

Must I refund them?

I need your help, around January 30 2019 I saw an advert on face book from Trends Clothing. The account is in SA but they are saying they are based in the United States of America.

They were looking for agents from different countries, Botswana was amongst them, so I sent my CV they appointed me to be an agent for Botswana. They announced on Facebook that people can forward their orders to me, and people started placing orders and sent money to me so that I can deposit to Trends clothing account. About 20 people placed orders and gave me money. I deposited around $740 on different occasions. We were told that it takes 20 days for orders to arrive but up to now nothing has arrived. People are now mad at me.

Trends are now not responding to my emails and they blocked me on their page as well but the sad thing is that they are continuing to take money from people. I have also called agents from South Africa and Swaziland and they are experiencing the same. My worry is they are continuing to take money from people

In this case is it me who is supposed to refund them or Trends?

I contacted Trends Clothing in South Africa to ask them about your concerns and I was told by someone called Raylene that she had “forwarded the email to our legal and tracking department. They should be in contact with you within 2 business days”. At the time I wrote this, that was eleven days ago. Unless they’ve got in touch before you read this, it’s now more than two weeks, not two days. I think that tells us something about them, don’t you?

You are certainly not the only person who has been disappointed by Trends Clothing. I found lots of other complaints, many of them reporting experiences the same as yours. Money paid, no deliveries and then silence. The bad news is that unless you can persuade them to be patient or forgive you, the people who paid you for goods probably do deserve a refund from you, not Trends Clothing. It was you they paid, not the shady characters in South Africa. Meanwhile, I’ll keep up the pressure on the South Africans.

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