Caught in the Act: Makro just wouldn't suck it up

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Caught in the Act: Makro just wouldn't suck it up

Amazingly, retailers still deny customers their Consumer Protection Act rights

Consumer journalist


I share with you today another chapter in the “How retailers deny their customers their Consumer Protection Act (CPA) rights” book.
This one’s called: “Excluding one of the components from the six-month warranty.”
The CPA gives consumers the right to return products that prove to be defective or unfit for purpose within six months of purchase, for their choice of a refund, repair or replacement.
But when Joan Freislich of Rondebosch tried to return her five-month-old Verimark Genesis Duravac Wet and Dry vacuum cleaner to Makro Ottery earlier this month for a refund because the connector hose had broken, she was told not only was she not going to get a refund, but she’d have to buy a new hose.
“Both the Verimark rep and a Makro manager told me they couldn’t refund my money because there was nothing wrong with the machine’s motor, and Verimark has a return policy of just two weeks.” What? As a special favour, Verimark offered Freislich a steel hose at no cost, but she refused. I took up the case with Makro, and she has since been refunded in full, but the company maintains they were correct in initially refusing a refund because Freislich’s other complaint – of poor suction – was due to her failure to remove a filter cover, which could have led to the unit burning out.
Clearly that has nothing to do with the broken hose and, in fact, she was denied a refund because the motor was in good working order.
The CPA doesn’t allow for certain components of a product to be excluded from its six-month warranty.
Seven and a half years on from the implementation of the CPA, there’s no excuse for any person working in retail to not know that.

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