Not reading contract caused buyer lots of grief

If Mpho Tsagane had read the terms and conditions of her contract when she bought a vehicle she would have saved herself a lot of trouble.

If Mpho Tsagane had read the terms and conditions of her contract when she bought a vehicle she would have saved herself a lot of trouble.

Tsagane, who bought a second-hand car from Strategic Vehicle Solutions (SVS), must now wait for them to refund her money.

She thought SVS had changed the terms of the sales agreement to penalise her. But the terms and conditions of the contract stated that once the seller had signed the documents for the car the buyer had seven days to pay whatever balance was outstanding and take possession of the vehicle.

When Tsagane bought a Polo Playa in July last year she offered to pay for it over six months.

Tsagane said in January she was contacted by three SVS employees who urged her to collect the car by the end of that month to avoid it being sold.

"January was a bad month, especially with the children going back to school. They agreed to keep it for me until the end of January. But they sold it behind my back," said Tsagane.

At the end of January she went to their offices to pay for the car but she said she was turned away because SVS does not accept cash payments after 3pm.

A day later she was told she had not responded in time and they had sold the car to a client who had the full amount.

"I feel betrayed because they agreed to keep the car until the end of January and they were unfair demanding a 20percent cancellation fee," she said.

The terms and conditions of Tsagane's documents stated that if she failed to pay SVS within seven days they "shall charge interest on the outstanding payment at the publicly quoted prime overdraft lending rate of the Standard Bank of SA Ltd from the first day after payment is due until payment is received".

She said there was no reason for SVS to penalise her after they had received the full purchase price from the other buyer, plus the interest from her money.

An SVS spokesman said they were entitled to sell the car because Tsagane had failed to honour her side of the agreement.

The spokesman said they would refund Tsagane her money, but it would take a long to time because it would have to be authorised by her employer and the company's auditors.

Consumer Line will keep an eye on the matter until Tsagane is finally paid.

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