TOO often consumers become victims of unscrupulous sellers who have perfected methods of milking unsuspecting buyers.
Morwesi Sibeko has accused JM Jemz Motors of 160 Main Road, Newlands, Johannesburg, of withholding her money for an unsolicited tracking device.
Sibeko intended to buy a used car from the dealership for R175 000.
She said she paid R25 000 after they agreed to finance the car.
"I desperately needed a vehicle after mine was stolen and I was relieved when they said they would deliver it within two days," said Sibeko.
On the day of the delivery, Sibeko was told that the car was not ready because she was number 400 in the queue to have a tracking device installed.
"They wanted to track me down if I skipped payments because I had a bad credit record and could not get finance from a bank," she said.
Sibeko said this made her feel like a criminal.
"I told them that my employer, MiWay, could install the device since I have insurance with them," she said.
Sibeko said she had not been told before then that only Jemz could fit the device.
She said instead of explaining how they conducted business, seller Ismail Eshak told her she was a "beggar and not be a chooser".
His attitude caused her to cancel the contract.
"I felt belittled by not being allowed to choose who would install the tracker. I was buying a car, not getting a freebie," Sibeko said.
She was told to write a letter of cancellation, after which the deposit would be refunded. Eshak's conversation is recorded on tape.
"I was only refunded R10 000 10 days after cancelling," she said.
Sibeko approached Consumer Line after battling on her own to recover the balance.
"This is unfair business practice, if not fraud," Sibeko said.
Eshak denied all the allegations but said when Sibeko cancelled her contract it left him indebted to the company that installed trackers for him.
"Please be advised that she (Sibeko) cancelled her contract with us, and has put us in debt with a tracking company because we have signed a 36- months contract with C track," said Eshak.
He said Jemz will now have to pay for an unused tracking unit.
"When we get a vehicle that needs a tracking unit, we will reimburse the balance of her funds," Eshak said.
Sibeko was refunded a further R7500 after Consumer Line intervened.
The Gauteng Office of Consumer Affairs has agreed to investigate.