Saturday 14 August 2021

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

They let me down!

May I kindly ask if Consumer Watchdog is able to assist in getting funds back for services not rendered.

Me and my husband met someone 5 years back and he stated to offer architect services and we paid a deposit but he failed to provide the plan and he then agreed to pay us back. However he never paid and his mobile number isn't going through. We tried to trace him but up to now nothing.

We have then engaged someone different and we have now started building. On the 24th June 2021 we then paid a one supplier around Gaborone who has also failed to honour as agreed. They have given us a notice that they will have paid back the money by Friday 31st July but he has not paid. His mobile rings unanswered and we reported to the police whom he never showed up.

I'm really sorry for your run of bad luck with suppliers. Building a house is stressful enough without having to deal with untrustworthy suppliers like these.

I also think we have a neighbourly obligation to prevent anything like this happening to other customers. In my experience people who behave like this will continue to do the same to other victims until someone stops them. Maybe that's our job?

Send me the contact details of both of the shady characters that took your money and let's see if between us we can teach them the error of their ways. Who knows, maybe we can achieve some good and prevent further abuse?

They won't fix my car!

I need your advice on this matter. Around 18 July 2021 someone rear ended my vehicle causing damage to my rear bumper and door. The driver was apologetic about the accident and offered to fix the vehicle without involving the police. I agreed to this. We made a written agreement for the driver to have the vehicle fixed before end of July 2021 as they were waiting funds from a business deal.

I provided 3 quotations from different panel beaters to the driver.

As we speak the driver has been promising to give me feedback and is not doing so. I've run out of patience as I want my car repaired, what avenues can I pursue here? 

Congratulations. You deserve a prize for doing the smartest thing a consumer has done all week. You got the person who damaged your car to sign a document admitting their fault and promising to pay to fix it. That was a remarkably smart thing to do and I wish more consumers would do things like this.

The bad news is that I suspect they now regret signing it because they're trying to avoid their obligations. So now it's time to get serious.

Given that you have a written agreement I suggest you consider legal action to get your money. How you do that depends on how much you're owed. If it's below P30,000 you should approach the Small Claims Court and present them with the signed agreement and the three quotations. If it's more than P30,000 you'll probably need to consult an attorney.

However, before you do either of those things, try one last time to get them to do the decent thing. Let them know you'll be taking legal action against them unless they fix the vehicle within 7 days. If you're feeling generous, make it 14 but however long you give them, if they let you down again you need to use the law to enforce your rights.

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