Saturday 4 March 2023

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Should they compensate me?

Good day Richard. I need some assistance. In January 2022 I bought a couch on credit. It was a 1 year account. The 1st month the instalment was not taken as they had my account number incorrect. On the last month which was December 2022 the stop order also failed.

They contacted me and I made an arrangement with them to pay P2,000 out of the P3,800 that was remaining in January and the remaining P1,800 in February. However after paying the P2,000 as agreed they still took a stop order of P1,900 from my account. As a result my other stop orders failed and my account went into negative.

I queried it with them to point out they had inconvenienced me however they are offering no resolution.
If possible I will like them to pay the bank charges for the failed stop orders.

I think you're being perfectly reasonable. This company, who clearly can't organise something as simple as a stop order for a year, massively inconvenienced you. They started by not being able to get your account number correct and then for some other silly reason neglected to take your final payment. By January of this year you should have been finished with them and enjoying the couch that finally belongs to you. Instead they decided to make your life difficult and expensive.

They owe you the costs of this inconvenience. I'll contact them about this and remind them of their responsibilities. Let's hope they have a conscience.

Where's her fridge?

Mr. Harriman, I'm kindly requesting for your assistance. My mom, a 67 year old bought a business fridge in February 2022 to use in a tuckshop. Last year the fridge just switched off while still on warranty. She informed the shop and they took months to come and inspect and take action. Finally they did take the fridge this year January and the warranty is ending in February. They have been saying they are repairing the fridge as they were not in a position to replace. At the moment they are saying the warranty is almost finished so they may not do anything.

As we speak my old mother has lost supplying her business with cold beverages and this is what used to sustain her. All this is happening at Maun and my mom lives in a village 100km away. She spends a lot of money calling and traveling to do inquiries which are futile. Kindly advise on what steps we can do as I feel this issue is stressing my mom and it's been contributing to the rise on her blood pressure.

Yes, we can all understand why this would increase your Mum's blood pressure. It raised mine as well when I read your message. How dare they treat her like this?

The facts are simple. Any faults that emerge during the warranty period must be addressed in one of three ways. The store can either replace the fridge, repair it or refund your Mum, but it's important to understand that they can choose which option they prefer. They can choose to repair the fridge if they think that's the best option. However, they can't take too long doing this. Section 14 (1) of the Consumer Protection Act says that when:
"a supplier undertakes to perform any services for or on behalf of a consumer, the consumer has a right to … timely performance and completion of those services (and) timely notice of any unavoidable delay".
"Timely" is the word they should try to understand. Is it too difficult for them?

And then there's this idea that the end of the warranty period is approaching and they no longer need to help your Mum. They can STOP that right now and NEVER say those words to her again. The fault occurred during the warranty period and that's all that matters. If they want to make up unlawful and silly rules that satisfy their needs instead of your Mum's they might learn some very unpleasant lessons when consumers hear about this.

Do they really want to be seen as an organisation that ignores the law and common decency?

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