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

Ideas

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.

This article is reserved for Sunday Times Daily subscribers.
A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times Daily content.

Sunday Times Daily

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems?
Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.

Next Article

Previous Article