The voucher used in the order was already a replacement voucher on a previous order which the company did not fulfil. Picture: Pixabay
Estelle Hoffman, a consumer: I ordered goods to the value of R895 online from Takealot.com and paid by credit card and a R150 voucher I had.

When the order was delivered, one item was missing. When I checked my order online, I saw that this item had been cancelled by Takealot.com.

The R150 discount voucher was correctly applied against the balance of my order. I checked my account and saw there was a credit of R245, not R395, which was the amount paid for the cancelled item.

When I contacted Takealot.com they informed me that since there was a cancelled item on the order, they had reversed the value of the voucher against the amount owed to me.

Notwithstanding the order on their system showing the discount having been applied against the balance of the order, they were adamant the refund due was only R245 - citing their “returns policy”, which is nonsensical, as I didn’t return anything.

I then requested a refund to my credit card of the R245 (which I still believed should be R395, but didn’t have the energy to argue about), only to be told they don’t do refunds, only credits to the account.

It is my understanding that this is in contravention of the Consumer Protection Act, as this is not a “change of heart” refund, but an inability on the part of the company to supply an item they charged me for.

I was offered a replacement voucher for R150, which I declined - the voucher used in the order was already a replacement voucher on a previous order where Takealot.com was unable to supply an item I had paid for.

This replacement voucher was valid for two weeks, effectively forcing me to purchase goods to realise its value. I certainly wasn’t going to fall into that trap again!

I hope you can help me with this - if not, let this serve as a warning to people dealing with Takealot.com.

Takealot responded: “We got in touch with our customer service department who in turn reached out to the customer.

"It seems there was a misunderstanding with multiple accounts being active and the previous refunding of a voucher which was set to expire soon.

“We’ve in turn refunded the customer with the R150 amount, and I’ve escalated this to ensure these learnings are put in place so that going forward this does not happen again.”

* Georgina Crouth is a consumer watchdog with serious bite. Write to her at [email protected], tweet her @georginacrouth and follow her on Facebook.

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