Sfiso Zubane of KwaZulu-Natal bought a bicycle worth R500 from Makro Springfield for his son in August.
But his son's joy at finally owning a bicycle lasted only a month, Zubane said.
"The tyres were badly worn. It looked as if my son had had the bicycle for more than 10 years."
On contacting Makro its national customer contact centre supervisor raised his expectation and told him the bicycle had a three-month warranty and he could return it for inspection since it was a wear-and-tear product.
But a day later he was subjected to a total lack of customer service. A manager at Makro's returns-repairs department refused to accept or inspect the bicycle.
Zubane persisted and eventually met Ora Baker, a sports manager. He told her he was unhappy with both the latent defects in their product and the bad service from theirstore.
"She told me there was no guarantee on tyres but nevertheless promised to inspect them," Zubane said.
"She gave the impression that I would be compensated. This gave me hope that my complaint was finally in the rights hands."
A month later he sent an e-mail asking for a response, but no one bothered to reply.
He then approached Consumer Line for help as a last resort.
Four hours after Consumer Line took up his complaint with Makro Zubane was a happy man.
Makro had agreed to replace the defective tyres. As a word of advice, the store told Zubane to advise his child not to skid on tar or gravel roads, otherwise he would be replacing the tyres in three weeks again.
Makro said the tyres and tubes were not covered by a warranty by any supplier of bicycles since this was the area of most abuse by kids.