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By unknown | Jun 03, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

NOW that our country is in a recession more unscrupulous service providers will try to fleece consumers.

NOW that our country is in a recession more unscrupulous service providers will try to fleece consumers.

This has already happened to Alfred Malabi, a Tshwane businessman. In March 2008 he bought and paid Kevin Fischer of S&K Fibers for two mobile toilets.

The loos should have been delivered to him last year but were instead sold to another buyer while Malabi was trying to secure the R19000 VAT.

Malabi had paid the full contract amount though his contract stated that he could pay half of the R140000.

He said he later wanted to take delivery of one of the toilets but Fischer could not deliver.

"I expected them to be reasonable since I had been doing business with them for the past nine years," Malabi said.

He said Fischer later told him that he would not be able to deliver the loos because S&K Fibers had been liquidated.

Malabi said Fischer did not even bother to call him to explain the situation.

He said when he went to collect his toilets last October he got the shock of his life when Fischer's wife Linda told him that they had sold the toilets because they could not trace him.

"I was shattered. They had my contact details, but didn't bother to notify me s though I have been a loyal customer for nine years," he said.

He said Linda Fischer undertook to deliver one unit and to refund the outstanding amount for the second unit but only paid back R30000 in two instalments.

"I am now battling to get the balance of my money plus the interest and one of the units," he said.

Malabi said the company also manufactures chemicals for portable toilets, septic tanks and pit latrines and should be able to refund him his money.

"Fischer supplies the entire South Africa and should not have a problem refunding me."

Malabi said renting loos was a lucrative business and on a good month he would earn R2000 from one portable toilet.

He said he never suspected the Fischers would sell his toilets while he was raising the VAT money.

He said the couple seemedlooked sincere so he and gave them a chance to constructerect and deliver the one loo. But to date this has not happened.

Malabi said he believed he was being taken for a ride and that he was tired of empty promises.

"Their last apology infuriated me. On the eve of the delivery date they sent me a text message telling me they could not deliver. If they cannot deliver, they must refund my money, with interest," be said.

The SMS Kevin Fischer sent reads: "Hi Alfred, please excuse me for sending a text instead of calling. The trailer will not be ready for collection tomorrow as discussed. I do apologise. I will try and call you later as my cell is not working properly."

"But their landline has not been suspended," said Malabi, who has been waiting for the call for the past 10 days.

Consumer Line took up Malabi's matter with Kevin Fischer, who blamed non-delivery on the economic situation. He said S&K Fiber was undergoing liquidation.

Linda Fischer said she was unable to comment because their daughter had been hospitalised since the Consumer Line inquiry.

"My husband is in Cape Town and will only comment next week when he comes to visit our daughter," she said.

For a week they ignored Consumer Line's calls and requests to call back.

The office of consumer affairs has agreed to take up Malabi's complaint.


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