‘Dear Wendy, I always enjoy your page in The Star, but can we move on from the R699ers please? Best, Anne C.”
I understand Anne’s frustration, and told her so, but I pointed out that as the biggest financial fiasco to hit South Africa’s motor industry, the collapse of Satinsky “Drive a new car from R699 per month” saga is a major, still unfolding story.
To Diane Macpherson of La Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal, the 500ml bottle of Johnson’s Baby Lotion on the shelf at her local Dis-Chem looked just like any other she’d bought for her daughter since her birth in 2011.
It was only when she got home that she saw a sticker on the back of the pack which read: “Parallel Import. These goods are genuine, however, they have been imported without the approval of the registered owner of the trademark and no guarantee or warranty, if any, will be honoured or fulfilled by any official or licensed importer.”
The 699-ers will have to wait for an undisclosed period of time to find out if the high court in Port Elizabeth (PE) will certify a class action against the banks that financed the ill-fated Satinsky car deals.
Judgment was reserved on Thursday after advocates representing the three banks – Nedbank’s MFC, Absa and Standard – argued, among other things, that a lack of commonality between the thousands of cases meant the legal requirements for a class action weren’t met.
As discussed in Monday’s column, it’s especially risky for consumers to enter into contracts over the phone, given that the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) doesn’t compel companies to provide consumers with a copy of call recordings, or even allow them to listen to them.
Some companies will begrudgingly allow their customers to listen to a recording, either in person or over the phone, if there is a dispute over what was disclosed or agreed to.
Did you know that if you agree to take out a contract over the phone, the company is not legally obliged to give you a copy of that call recording, or even let you listen to it, at their premises?
It’s a shocking omission in the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), given that in cases where a contract is entered into over the phone, the call recording is the only record of what was disclosed about the deal, and what you agreed to.