Saturday 26 June 2021

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Why won't they fix my bed?

Hi Mr Richard I really need your help. Please our value for our money is no longer considered in furniture stores. I lay byed a bed worth P4,000 last year August. I went to collect it but after making the payment I spent a week before getting my bed being told that its at the warehouse. I ended up getting it a week later.

After 3 months the bed started making noise. I didn't even waste time I went back to the shop to lodge a complaint and I was told it might be factory fault. They then promised to change the bed but it has been 6 months. Now every month I pay them a visit and they keep telling me the same thing.

This bed is no longer comfortable 4 me. I don't rest well because of the noise. Please help.

I think you've been very patient. Perhaps too patient!

Firstly, they failed to deliver the bed when they promised but we can probably overlook that because of the difficulties we've all experienced in the last year.

What matters most is that the bed wasn't in a good enough state. Section 14 (1) (c) of the Consumer Protection Act says that consumers have a right to "the use, delivery or installation of goods that are free of defects and are of a quality that consumers are reasonably entitled to expect". You are entitled to bed that allows you to sleep comfortably. That's what anyone would think they are "reasonably entitled to expect".

Then there's the warranty that came with the bed. You don't say how long the warranty lasted but I guess it was a year. The best thing you did was to highlight the problem with the bed as soon as you could and it's simply unacceptable that the store has taken so long and made so many broken promises to you. The Act also says that when delivering services to a consumer, they have a right to "timely performance and completion of those services (and) timely notice of any unavoidable delay". They failed.

I've emailed the Head Office for the company and they responded saying "that the complaint has been logged and further feedback will be provided once an update is received."

Let's see what they think they can do.

Where's my vehicle?

I ordered a vehicle from in December 2020 and was promised that it will be delivered around February or March 2021. The vehicle has never been delivered and I later realised that I have been scammed by someone hiding behind the company signage. I paid $4,800 and the police here say Interpol does not investigate anything less than $5,000. Is there anything I can do? I tried to report this to the company but to my surprise it appears the scammer has access to the number that in my view had thought its a genuine contact number. 

The scammer gave me the bank account number from the UK registered under "their company". Their office line from London is not accessible. It uses an answering pre-recorded voice detector that automatically hangs up if it does not recognize ones voice.

I have all along been trying to get hold of the actual company management to report the issue to them but unfortunately I haven't been able to contact them.

I don't think I can offer you any good news or reason to be optimistic. I checked the company you named in the UK and there are many suspicious things about them. Firstly, they claim to have an office in central London but the address they gave is just a serviced office that anyone can use wherever they are in the world. Also, there's no company with the name you gave that is registered in the UK.

I think it's still worth applying pressure to the local company to see if they can establish how this person managed to scam you. It's their name and reputation at stake and it's in their interests to try and help you and prevent other people becoming victims.

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