Saturday, 7 August 2021

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

They blocked me!

Five months back I bought a couch at a shop at a cost of P8,800 but until now I haven't received my couch they have been giving me stories after story saying they are waiting for orders. I finally gave up and bought another couch from a different store. I have been asking them to refund me for months now but they always give me excuses and now the lady of the shop has now I think blocked me. She is not even taking my calls. Please help me. P8,800 is a lot of money. I just can't let it go like that.

Do I care that this shop is "waiting for orders"? 

No, I don't and neither should you.

What I care about is you getting the refund you deserve. As I've said many times before, we all understand that things have been difficult for suppliers over the last 18 months and many of us have been forced to be a little more tolerant of the delays they've experienced. However, waiting for a couch for five months is silly and it's even sillier that this shop has decided to go silent on you. In fact it's more that silly, it's crazy. Do they want their reputation to be ruined? Do they want everyone to know that they treat their customers like this?

I'll get in touch with the shop and ask them if this is what they want.

I want a new trombone!

I need your advice. Around March 2021 I called a certain music shop in Gaborone looking for a trombone silver in color. They assured me that they have it in stock and I can lay-bye it, I did all of this over the phone since I stay in Mahalapye and the shop is at Gabs. On July 2nd I visited the shop to pay the last instalment and collect it. The shop assistant opened the package and told me that the trombone doesn't look new, upon a close inspection I also realized that it has a lot of scratches, they offered to give me the old trombone and discount P100. I didn't agree to that offer and we agreed that they will contact me the following week and they never did. On the same day the shop manager notified me that if they find a new one it means the price is going to increase since my lay-bye was done on March before price increases.

I think this store needs to learn some basic lessons on customer service. And another series of lessons on the Consumer Protection Act.

Firstly, this store needs to learn the difference between new and used items. Section 5 of the Act says that a supplier "shall not, in relation to the marketing of goods or services, by way of words or conduct falsely represent … that goods are new or reconditioned". From what you've told me, when you first started paying for the trombone the shop didn't tell you that the trombone wasn't new? They didn't mention that it would be a scratched, obviously second-hand or damaged trombone?

Clearly they misled you. Clearly they also broke the law.

And then, after lying to you, they want to charge you more money to get the thing you paid for? Are they serious? Section 23 (1) of the Act says that a supplier may not enter into an agreement with a consumer that allows them to "unilaterally amend the terms of the contract or agreement". A store can't just change the price of an item because they feel like it.

Do you think they realise that the maximum penalty for breaking the Consumer Protection Act is a fine of up to P100,000, a term of five years in prison. Or both.

Shall we educate them about this?

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