Saturday 26 September 2020

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

How many chairs should they fix?

Mr. Harriman please help me. I took my 6 dining chairs to a cleaning company which volunteered to return them to my house after being cleaned. I realised later that 2 of them were damaged. I called the company and went to them with the photos of the damaged chairs. The guys who delivered the chairs 'neglected' to tell me that the chairs had fallen on to the tarmac when delivering them to my house. The 2 damaged chairs were returned to the cleaning company and the other 4 at my house. They asked me to look for material for covering all 6 chairs which I did. Now they have covered the 2 damaged chairs and are refusing to cover the remaining 4.

The owner of the company is telling me that I chose expensive material and he won't cover the remining 4 chairs. I was never told that there is a price limit on the material I choose. They previously told me they would cover all 6 and not 2.

Is this fair on me?

No, I don't think this is fair on you at all. You had a right to expect that the cleaning company would treat your property as if it was their own property. You had a right to expect that if an accident happened (as they sometimes do) they would fix whatever damage they caused.

However, I think the company made a terrible mistake, one that might cost them a lot of money. I think they were probably only required to fix the damage they actually caused. I don't think they were obliged to do anything to the four chairs they didn't damage. Obviously they're required to do their very best to fix the two damaged chairs as well as they could and so they matched the undamaged ones but I don't think they had to do anything more than that.

However, if they put the promise to repair all six in writing you might be able to force them to do it, otherwise I think the best you can do is to demand that the two damaged chairs are repaired so they are as close to the undamaged ones as possible. That really is the LEAST they can do.

Can I get a refund??

I need your help. There is a furniture company on Facebook. I paid them P2,110 for the furniture of which the initial price was P2,999. After paying them my probation was not successful. I contacted the lady who then said it's fine she will deliver the tables, I will pay her when I find a job. I started becoming suspicious. Mind you I have never met this lady in person, we only spoke on the phone and through Whatsapp. I had asked the lady to refund me but she has been taking me from pillar to post. What can I do?

Facebook is a great thing. It's obviously a mixed blessing, it has both good and bad sides. We've learned that we can't completely trust Facebook with the data they collect on us, that they exist to make money, not offer things for free and we pay them not with money but with our privacy.

However, I also think Facebook has been a force for good. It offers us ways to communicate, share information and learn that are unlike anything in the past. It also allows people to operate businesses like nothing before. What hasn't changed is that some people can't be trusted.

Part of your problem is that you've never met this person in person, I suspect you don't have a sale agreement in writing, you haven't paid the full amount for the furniture and this is going to be very difficult to fix. In normal circumstances I would suggest approaching the Small Claims Court but given the Covid situation I'm not sure they'll be operating at full effectiveness these days. I suggest we use the same tools she's using for business against her. Let's fight fire with fire, Facebook with Facebook. Start by posting a negative review on her page and keep doing so until she responds. You can also post a complaint in the Consumer Watchdog Facebook group. You'll be surprised how effective that can be. Let's see if we can get that refund for you.

No comments: