Saturday 13 January 2024

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

This phone isn't new!

On the 29th December I purchased a phone, got home and the phone was not charging and it has photos inside that I found in it and it overheats when you switch it on and that's after hardly 24 hours of purchase. The next day on the 30th I returned to the store to lodge a complaint and was told that no exchange or refund will be made. Instead they just swapped chargers and gave me a Huawei charger while the phone is a Vivo brand. Since they had already taken my money the guys didn't even want to listen to my complaint, but if you purchase a mere pie from grocery store and it's not fresh you are given a refund.

I asked them to at least change to the other one and they refused saying I should have brought a better phone instead of crying for cheap one.

I wish you a very Happy New Year and I wish this cellphone store a very Unhappy New Year. I wish most businesses, the ones that work hard to serve their customer well, the very best of luck and I hope they prosper. But occasionally I hear about companies that I hope fail. Maybe this is one of them?

It's not too much to ask to expect a product that works. The law says the same thing. 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". Simple. But too difficult for this store to understand.

Section 13 of the Act says that a store that sells second-hand goods (like a phone containing the previous owner's photos) "shall inform a consumer that the goods sold are used goods by … placing a label on the goods that indicates that such goods are used goods" and "placing a notice on the invoice issued to a consumer". Again, simple. Again, too difficult for this store.

Section 16 says that if goods are faulty within 6 months of purchase the consumer can return them for a repair, replacement or refund. The store can choose which they offer but they can't just decide to ignore their offences.

I contacted the store and they haven't yet replied to my messages. I'll let you know if they do but meanwhile you can all join in the conversation about this in the Consumer Watchdog Facebook group.

The repair didn't work!

My daughter had a problem with her iPhone on 22 December 2023 and she took it to be repaired. She was charged P800 for fixing which she paid and later given the phone same day on the pretext that the phone is ok. The next day the phone gave her the same problem. She went back to the store and the repairer refused to assist. He refused and was too arrogant. She took it to another repairer who told her that the screen which was installed is not an iPhone screen and promised to order a new screen for the iPhone.

So the first guy remained with P800 just like that. He should refund us so that we pay for the repairer who promised to order a new screen. Please help.

Another company that deserves to fail. I understand, like I'm sure you and your daughter understand, mistakes happen and repairs aren't always as easy as we might think. However, if what you've been told is correct, the first repairer is either incompetent or a liar. Or both. I don't think it's unreasonable to have an iPhone screen replaced with an iPhone screen, is it?

The good news is that the Consumer Protection Act also includes the quality of repair work. Section 17 says that a company that repairs something must offer "a warranty on every new or re-conditioned part installed during any repair or maintenance work, and the labour required to install it, for a period of three months". One day isn't enough.

I tried contacting the first repair guy but he's not answering calls or replying to messages. Maybe a call from the Competition and Consumer Authority would encourage him more?

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