Consumer Watch

Wendy Knowler fights for your rights...

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February 3 2014 at 10:12

Just before Christmas, as I walked out of a packed store with my purchases, the security apparatus at the exit let rip with its “Stop, thief!” alarm.

All eyes turned to me. The security guard told me to wait, calmly took the packet from me, returned to the till point, pinpointed the security sticker which had not been successfully de-activated, and sent me on my way with a “sorry”.

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January 27 2014 at 09:52

Reader Wendy Alexander posed a very interesting question to me on Twitter last week.

When consumers return goods to stores within six months of purchase, requesting a refund, replacement or repair in terms of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), they are often told that before a decision can be made, the goods must first be sent away for a technical “assessment” to rule out user abuse.

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January 22 2014 at 10:18

I’m so angry and distressed about continuing reports of consumers’ right to return defective goods being trampled on by ignorant or exploitative stores, I’m having a hard time resisting a Mbalula moment.

Almost three years after the Consumer Protection Act came into force, shop assistants and managers really shouldn’t be confused about this.

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January 20 2014 at 10:19

In October I asked the major networks what they were doing to protect their subscribers’ pre-paid airtime and bills from being “attacked” by Wasps – wireless application service providers – who trade in monthly subscriptions for “content”, which is mostly frivolous extras, from ringtones to adult content.

For years, cellphone users have complained that they’ve been “stung” by daily or weekly charges for a subscription they didn’t agree to.

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January 15 2014 at 10:45

There’s a big difference between a store policy based on law and one that is essentially a service to customers.

Predictably, many consumers confuse the two, believing that what one store does as a service is their legal right in all stores.

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