Nappy machines 'a rip-off'

A Cape Town company has been accused of taking its customers for a ride.

A Cape Town company has been accused of taking its customers for a ride.

Zhaun's Business Opportunity & Engineering Group have been accused of selling faulty nappy-making machines and refusing to refund unhappy customers.

Last month, Nicholas Madi complained that the company had sold him an old nappy-making machine. He was refunded after Consumer Line took up his case.

Other consumers have also complained that the company does not honour its side of the contracts.

Madi complained that it took the company three months to deliver his order and when it finally arrived, the cutting table was scratched and rusted and many screws were missing. This made it difficult to assemble the machine.

He said he informed the company about the problem, but nothing was done until Consumer Line stepped in.

Gloria van Kramberg and Ester Sokowe formed a partnership to manufacture nappies.

They each contributed R25000 to buy a nappy-making machine from Zhaun company.

Van Kramberg said they paid the full amount on April 26 when the company's sales representative, known only as Godfrey, promised to deliver the machine in six to eight weeks.

"The wait was longer than promised and the machine was only delivered in mid-July, after we had made numerous calls to complain.

Van Kramberg said it took another week or so before the machine was installed and they were trained on how to use it.

She said: "We thought that our problems were finally over, but that was only the beginning of our nightmare."

Sokowe said: "From the onset, the machine was giving us problems. It was putting too much glue on the nappies, the glue was sticking to the wheels and so on."

But after the wheels were replaced, things got worse, the partners said.

They said they had only managed to make 400 nappies since they received their machine. The rest of their material was wasted, the disappointed women complained.

"At one point we balanced the wheels with some toothpicks because the glue was not being properly smeared off the aluminum wheels," Sokowe said.

They said they had pleaded with the company more than five times, but it had failed to fix or exchange the machine.

"Each time they tried to fix it, it got worse," the pair complained.

Kramberg said they had given Zhaun Group enough time to fix their new machine and when they lost patience and demanded their money back, they was ignored.

Miriam Akbar of Zhaun Group is investigating the reason why the women cannot be refunded.