Saturday 14 November 2020

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Where are my bricks? And where's my money?

May you kindly assist me with this problem? I bought some stock bricks from a certain supplier in the village where am building. I engaged the inspectors from District Council who upon inspection said the bricks were not strong enough and hence not suitable for building. I informed the supplier

I had already paid a little over P12,000. He promised to refund me. Without my consent, he collected the bricks which I suspect have been sold again but to date I haven't received any monies. This happened in Jul. Kindly asking if you could help me get my money. Thanks in advance. 

There's a word for this. Stealing. You paid for those bricks so they now belong to you. Even though they have been declared unfit for use in your project by your local officials, they still belong to you and anyone who takes your property without your consent or legal authority is a thief. One option you might want to consider is to call the police and lay a charge of stealing. However, that might be a little too extreme and there's a chance that if you get an unsympathetic police officer they might just say it's a civil matter and they can't intervene.

The second option is to use the legal system to help you. You can approach the Small Claims Court about this and they might be able to assist. The good news for us all is that from 18th September this year the amounts the Small Claims Court can consider increased from P10,000 to P30,000 so you have a very good chance of getting your money.

Your third choice is to lodge a complaint with the Competition and Consumer Authority who have the power to demand they supplier fixes this problem or face a fine of up to P100,000, a prison term of up to five years, or both.

Or we could just write about in the nation's most widely read newspaper and then publish it in a Facebook group that has 147,000 members. Which option do you think scares suppliers the most? I think we all know the answer, don't we?

Meanwhile I've already contacted them for you. Let's see what choice they prefer.

P.S. Well done to the Small Claims Court people for increasing our access to justice, it's a great move.

My car is the wrong year!

I have an issue here. I bought a new car having been told it was a 2019 manufactured vehicle but to my surprise the car came as a 2018 model but the sales urgent continued to say it's a 2019 vehicle. Even the registration booked is registered as 2019. Also I insured it as 2019 vehicle. I was surprised to see manufacturer sticker after a year saying it's a 2018 manufactured vehicle. I now feel cheated.

What can I do?

You also have several options. Firstly you can complain to the Competition and Consumer Authority and suggest that this supplier broke Section 5 (1) of the Consumer Protection Act of 2018 when they represented that the vehicle was
"of a particular standard, quality, value, grade, composition, style, model, or that the goods have a particular history". 
You can also mention that they broke Section 10 (a) when they failed to 
"provide information which is accurate, clear and complete in relation to goods and services offered to consumers". 
Finally, if you saw an advertisement for this vehicle you can also claim that they broke Section 7 (6) when they sold you something that was not "not availed as advertised". Breaking all of these rules could get the supplier a fine of up to P100,000, five years enjoying His Excellency's hospitality, or to both.

Or we could just write about this in the nation's most widely read newspaper and then publish it in a Facebook group that has 147,000 members. What do you suggest?

Meanwhile I'll get in touch with them and see if they can't avoid such unpleasantness.

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