'I paid R95,000 - but where's my car?'
She wants her money back
DO YOU know that according to the Consumer Protection Act the supplier of any goods bears the risk until you have accepted delivery?
But some service providers, like Velocity Cars, whose premises are on the corner of First Avenue and Klipfontein Road in Cape Town, apparently still conduct business as if consumers are without protection.
Noxolo Mnukwa has been battling to recoup R95,000 she paid to Velocity Cars for a Totota Hi-Ace minibus she bought from them in May last year.
Mnukwa, 33, who is a single parent of two, said she wanted to use the minibus as a taxi to augment her salary. But her dreams never materialised because she never took delivery of the minibus.
For the past 15 months she has paid R3,531 in monthly instalments that translates into a sum total of R52,965 for a vehicle she has not received.
She says she was surfing the Internet when she came across a Hi-Ace minibus advertised by Velocity cars. Mnukwa called them and offered to buy the vehicle.
"I signed the necessary documents and faxed them to Velocity so they could facilitate the sale," Mnukwa says.
She said an agent representing Velocity Cars assisted her with applying for a loan from Nedbank. Nedbank approved a loan amount of R64,110 and she was compelled to source an additional amount of R31,000 from Capitec Bank to cover extra hire purchase charges.
"Ten days later Velocity called to say my car was ready for collection, but that was a lie," she says.
An excited Mnukwa, accompanied by her brother, bought two one-way bus tickets to Cape Town to collect the minibus and drive it back home.
But on arrival at the dealership, she discovered that the vehicle was not ready and not parked at Velocity premises. She was told it had been taken elsewhere to be fitted with window seals and a door, she says.
"I was shocked because they had withheld the information that the car was defective," she said.
Velocity Cars gave her a packet of sweets and promised to refund her bus fare, she claimed.
"They also promised to arrange for a truck to deliver the vehicle to me, but it never arrived since it was damaged in transit," Mnukwa says.
She says she was promised a refund but that too never materialised as promised by Velocity director Niyaaz Jainoodied.
These are only a few of his e-mails sent to her:
"The truck containing all the vehicles overturned and to my knowledge didn't have insurance.
"We should remember that throughout this entire process our obligation to you was to have the van roadworthied and that's all.
"Our delivery to you was completed when you were in Cape Town and completed the deal.
"You then asked us to deliver the vehicle in JHB. However, out of good gesture when we heard of the truck that overturned, we said we would assist you in this process.
"We are trying our best to ensure that you receive the money that you paid over once the claim has been processed."
The attorney representing Jainoodied, Jennifer Naidoo of J Naidoo Attorneys, said her client could only repay R52,000, which was offered by the insurance company.
Naidoo dismissed the claim that Mnukwa might have been overcharged when she bought the vehicle.
Naidoo confirmed that the car was not registered in Mnukwa's name at the time of the accident, but said she carried the risk after the contract was concluded.
She said her client's insurance company, Santam, paid out R52,000 for a car sold for R95,000, because it was not separately insured but part of the comprehensive policy.
Santam declined to comment on the amount paid to Velocity as compensation for the damaged car that was sold to Mnukwa.
Section 19 of the Consumer Protection Act provides that the supplier or service provider is responsible for delivering goods to the client.
The goods must be delivered on the agreed date and time or within a reasonable period after conclusion of the contract, unless otherwise agreed.
Delivery costs must be paid by the supplier.
The supplier assumes responsibility for the goods until the consumer has accepted them on delivery.
It further states that the consumer is deemed to have accepted delivery when he/she expressly or implicitly communicates that he/she has accepted the goods.