Consumer rights still not protected

TWO months after the enactment of the Consumer Protection bill there are stores that still disregard the act and do not give refunds for defective items.

TWO months after the enactment of the Consumer Protection bill there are stores that still disregard the act and do not give refunds for defective items.

A1 Store, which specialises in disco lights and speakers and operates its business from 34 Von Wielligh Street in Johannesburg, has been accused of selling a defective item to a customer and refuses to exchange it.

But it denies selling defective goods or defying the law.

The act is aimed at ensuring that consumers receive value for their money. It also makes it imperative for the service provider to refund the aggrieved consumer if the defective item cannot be fixed.

Pastor Doctor Khambule tried to exercise this right at A1 Store but was not successful.

The store insists they can repair the defect even though the consumer had a right to return the goods within six months for a refund.

Khambule bought an amplifier worth R2000 but returned it after it proved to be defective.

He says the shop owner advised him to buy a bigger amplifier because the one he bought was not suitable for the speakers . He paid an additional R2000, but within six weeks it too proved to be defective . When his congregation accused him of buying fong kong equipment he had to buy another one after the store owner, known only as Mohammed, refused to refund him.

Khambule says that as a consumer and in terms of the Consumer Protection Act he has a right to receive goods reasonably suitable for the purpose for which they are generally intended.

The act allows a consumer to return defective goods to the supplier within six months after delivery without a penalty and at the supplier's risk end expense if the goods fail to satisfy the requirements .

But Suhel Omrjee Hamdja of A1 Store disagrees. He said there was nothing wrong with the amplifier and would not refund Khambule.

A spokesperson at the Department of Trade and Industry has agreed totake up Khambule's complaint and ensure his consumer rights are protected.

l The Consumer Protection Act was signed into law in April.

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