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A Tembisa couple has accused a catering company of knowingly selling them a defective ice cream machine - and then suggesting they would be refunded if they sold it to another unsuspecting consumer.
Donald and Mpho Motsoai said they bought the vending machine in November last year to augment their income.
They did not know the machine was defective until last month when they set up a location from where they could their sell ice cream.
The defective machine cost them R28500, which they paid in full.
The couple said New World Catering, together with Africa's Catering Equipment, did not at first want to accept liability when they complained, but later admitted that the machine was defective.
"They replaced it with one that was worse, but now claim we damaged it by operating it while it was emitting a funny sound," said Donald.
The Motsoais demand to be refunded immediately
The arrangement that Africa's Catering Equipment made to resolve their complaint reads: "We, Africa's Catering Equipment, hereby undertake to sell the two Flavor Soft Serve machines on behalf of Donald and Mpho Motsoai.
"The machine will be put on display at our premises for resale until sold.
"It will be put on sale for R28800."
Responding to Sowetan, the catering company's John Kotsiros blamed the defect on the power failure and the Motsoais. He said they also refused to have the machine checked.
Without completely exonerating his company from liability, Kotsiros said the Motsoais' continued use of the machine after the power failure worsened the situation.
"We offered to investigate why the machine was supposedly tripping the lights, but they refused to pursue the matter."
He said they refused to take another machine he had offered.
Motsoai referred Consumer Line to the one-sided clause on their contract that protect only them if a problem arises. They hold absolute power to decide whether to exchange or repair the defective item.
The terms also allow them to accept 20percent restocking charges if they agree to accept the returned item.
lKotsiros has now offered to refund the Motsoais - after selling their defective machine on their behalf.