Saturday 18 September 2021

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Can they repair it?

Hello I need your help. I bought a cellphone at a store at Rail Park Mall. The next day I realized that the battery died, the phone loses power so fast I have to charge it every hour. I went back to the store and they refused to change the phone instead they offered to repair it which is going to take 7 days. So what does the law say?

The law is actually very simple in circumstances like yours.

Section 15 (1) of the Consumer Protection Act says that a consumer "has the right to receive goods which are of good quality, in good working order and free of defects". That's simple, don't you think?

Section 16 goes on to say that if the goods fail to meet that standard, the consumer may return the goods to the supplier. It then says that the supplier is entitled to "repair or replace the defective goods" or to "refund the consumer" but it's important to understand that they can decide which they want to do. They are entitled to try to repair the phone before they choose to offer you either a refund or a replacement. I know it's frustrating to spend a lot of money on a new phone and then wait for it to be repaired but that's what the Consumer Protection Act says they can do.

However, there's something that suppliers often overlook. Section 16 of the Act also says that if a supplier repairs an item and "within three months the same problem recurs in the goods" they're not allowed to repair it a second time. They can now only refund or you give you a replacement.

My advice is to allow the store to try and repair the phone but make sure they understand that they get just one chance to do to. Just one

Scam warning

We've been contacted by many people in the last few weeks who have fallen victim to scams. The really bad news, the upsetting news, is that scammers seem to be working even harder during Covid to steal our money than ever before. They realise that we're all short of money these days and many of us are desperate to make some more. So desperate that we make some foolish decisions.

Let me give you an example. In fact, it's the experience of several victims. They were approached by people on Facebook claiming that they had a remarkable "investment" opportunity called Marginbase. Specifically, they said that if someone invested P3,800 with their scheme, they would earn P53,950 within 7 days.

Just think about that for a moment. They say you can multiply your money by 14 times in a week. If that was true and you invested your P3,800, multiplied it 14 times in just a week and then repeatedly reinvested the money, after 5 weeks you would have more than P2 billion. After three months you would have more money than has ever existed in the history of the world.

Obviously, this is a scam. It's all a trick to get the P3,800 and it's not the only scam like this operating right now. They all make promises of fantastic profits and all demand between P1,000 and P5,000 to join. It's important to know that the joining fee is just the beginning. Once you've invested, a fake web page will show that you're making lots of money and they'll encourage you to invest even more and who wouldn't be tempted? They say you're making amazing amounts of money and you want to make even more.

Of course, the problem comes when you try to withdraw your money. That's when they'll put up barriers. They'll either say that you need to pay a commission or premium to get your money or they'll claim computer problems or that their systems have been hacked. They'll do their best to keep your money, all while reminding you how much money they claim you're making.

The lesson from this is never to believe anyone who promises you fantastic profits on a relatively small investment. No genuine investment makes miraculous profits and anyone who says they can is either lying, insane or misguided. Please don't waste your money because a stranger, or worse still someone you know, suggests that you can make a fortune. You'll never see the profits they promise and you'll never see the money you gave them again.

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