Almost two years on, South Africans are still being denied many of the protections in the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).
Take the right to cancel an advance booking, for example. The CPA says a consumer has the right to cancel an advance reservation, booking or order, and the supplier may impose a “reasonable” cancellation penalty.
Valentine’s Day is a blessing and a curse for florists. It’s the busiest day of the year, which means a huge income boost, but supplying fresh, beautiful flowers – usually red roses – to the right people at the right time, on that most romantic of days, is a logistical nightmare.
At a small party on Valentine’s night I met a man who, having worked as a florist for 25 years, took a stand this year – he turned down all Valentine’s Day orders except for one, that of a very special client.
Companies are generally not flexible when it comes to payment arrangements. If you don’t pay what they tell you to pay, when they tell you to pay it, you are punished – with interest, penalty fees, or both; and an adverse listing on your credit record.
Pity it doesn’t work in the reverse. As the stories featured in this column illustrate, again and again, if companies owe their customers money for some reason, they often take weeks or months to repay it, and seem flummoxed by suggestions that they should add interest or bank charges to that sum.