Saturday 11 February 2023

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

What can I do?

I bought a phone in December, a Huawei Mate 10 Lite. It was new from the box.

It started expanding the battery and opening on the side and it cracked the screen by itself. So I went to return it this morning and they said if I returned it they will take 30% from the P2,000 I bought the phone with and they'll give me P1,400.

So I am asking if is the right process they are taking? I don't know if they are supposed to give me a new phone or refund me my money.

I need help.

Yes, you need help. But so does the store. They urgently need to learn some important lessons about consumer rights. And it's our job to teach them.

Your homework is to go back to the store and teach them what they need to do.

Firstly, explain to them that this phone clearly has an old battery which leads us to wonder whether it's really a new phone? Given that this model is 5 years old, it's fair to ask if it was really new? Teach them that Section 13 (1) of the Consumer Protection Act says that a supplier selling used goods must disclose that clearly at the point of sale. Failure to do so can lead to a fine of up to P50,00 or a prison term of up to 3 years. Or both.

Secondly, they need to learn from you that a supplier who sells faulty goods, and an expanding battery that cracks the screen is definitely faulty, must repair it, replace it or refund the customer if they return it within 6 months after buying it. There are no fees to be paid for this. None. Given that this phone is wrecked, I don't think a repair is a suitable choice. It's either a replacement or a refund.

The third lesson is simple. Do they want the public to know how they ignore the law and treat their customers with contempt? I hope they don't. Consumers can end a business very quickly if they exercise their rights and take their money elsewhere. 

Update: The store saw sense. She got a new phone.

Where's my refund?

May you kindly assist me with my security company. In January 2022 I got into a contract with them for alarm installation and security service provision. However, after months of paying monthly subscriptions of P550 I realised the alarm was inactive because of wrong installation issues. I reported the matter to management who rectified the problem and promised 3 free months to make up for that. However they continued with monthly deductions despite this communication through email and phone call.

I am always the one calling making follow ups. They never bother to engage me as their client. This persists because the contractual agreement was made through debit order and I couldn't cancel the transaction at the bank and payment suspension can only happen from their accounts office. The agreement was they refund me 2 months and suspend payment for December. They only suspended payment for December when I was furious with them. As for the refund they are refusing to fulfil their promise. They claim they have paid but when I request for proof of payment they won't produce it and they keep on saying they are confirming. Now they are no longer taking my calls.

I would be grateful if you can assist since it has been months of cat and mouse game with this security company.

The bad news is that I've had a few complaints about this company in recent weeks. The good news is that I'm sure they'll do their best to fix this. I hope the owners are experienced business people who know how to do things correctly, and that the problem is the staff lower down who don't fully understand the commitment that needs to be made to fixing problems.

I'll alert the management and I'm sure this will be fixed very quickly.

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