Consumer Watch

Wendy Knowler fights for your rights...

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April 2 2014 at 06:30

Kyle of Durban is a very unhappy man. A huge fan of the Polo brand, he has splashed out more than R14 000 on clothing bearing the Polo pony logo: formal shirts, golf shirts, T-shirts, bags, even his wallet and cufflinks are Polo.

But since being tipped off about a Sunday newspaper report revealing that his clothing is made by Polo South Africa, and has absolutely nothing to do with the international brand Polo by Ralph Lauren, he’s no longer proud of his wardrobe.

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March 31 2014 at 09:13

It’s bad enough booking and paying for a flight online and then getting to the airport in good time only to be told the flight was overbooked, and you’ll have to fly later.

But imagine turning up and discovering there is no record of your booking at all and the only way you can get on the flight is to pay for your ticket a second time.

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March 26 2014 at 11:32

Not too long ago I used to get defensive at the suggestion that I should be on Twitter; today I find responding to consumer queries in less than 140 characters an oddly exhilarating challenge.

Okay, I cringe when substituting “are” with “r” to make my response fit, and many times I give up and ask the tweeter to e-mail me instead. Précis has its limits.

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March 24 2014 at 10:18

Did you know that if you have two or more accounts with the same bank, or one of its affiliates, and you fall behind with your payments on one of them, the bank can whip money out of another account in order to offset that debt?

It’s called set-off, and many people aren’t aware of the practice until it happens to them.

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March 17 2014 at 10:18

The theme of this year’s World Consumer Rights Day over the weekend was “Fix our phone rights” – a cause that resonates with many South African consumers, if my inbox is anything to go by.

And the campaign – by Consumers International (see box) – wasn’t a one-day wonder, but the launch of a consumer agenda for fair cellphone services worldwide, including access to a reliable service, the security of our data, and fair contracts and billing – the issues most affecting consumers.

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