Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I have a problem my friend who bought a car from overseas. That car is now stuck at Durban because the people he was dealing with took 5 weeks to deliver the export documents for him to clear the car.

Now he has to pay R21,000 for him to get his car. The dealers are now out of it yet they are the ones who brought it there and delayed till the car had to be paid so much for the warehouse at Durban. Please help.

This is a very good example of why I urge people NOT to buy cars from overseas. The risks are just too high. It’s bad enough buying an imported car when you see it with a dealer here in Botswana. Very often the local dealerships will refuse to service any imported cars because of the difficulty in finding the right parts and equipment necessary to service a car built for another market. They’re also suspicious of the history of many of these imported vehicles. One dealer told me that at least half of all the imported cars he was asked to service turned out to have been “clocked”, meaning their mileage had been reduced to increase the purchase price.

However at least people buying imported cars from dealers here had a chance to examine the vehicle and test-drive it before they spent their money. When you buy a car from a company overseas you have no guarantee whatsoever that the car you get will be what you want. I’ve heard of people paying for a car and a totally different model being delivered. I’ve also heard of stories just like yours when the vehicle is held up somewhere and the buyer is told to cough up more cash or abandon the car.

Your message isn’t perfectly clear about what the additional R21,000 is for. Is it just a storage fee until the papers arrived? If that’s the case I would expect the people who delayed the papers to pay. If you send me their details I’ll get in touch with them.

Meanwhile I urge every reader of The Voice NOT to buy cars this way. I know some people have had good experiences but the number with bad ones is enormous. It’s just too risky.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I have been renting a house for the past 2 years. When I moved in I paid an up-front refundable deposit of P2,500. I signed a lease which has a clause that the deposit will be used for maintenance if need be when I leave the house. I moved out of the house in October after I gave a full months notice. Instead of getting my deposit back my landlord said he would give me back the money end of November. Now instead of giving me back my money he gave me receipts for the maintenance he claims was done on the house and P900 change. I feel this is unfair on my side because we never discussed about maintenance when I left the house.

Unfortunately your landlord is just doing what he’s entitled to do. The lease probably said that you had to leave the property in a decent condition and having repaired any damage you might have caused. Normally a tenant is also expected to repaint the property as well before leaving.

It’s very important that whenever you move into a property you should very carefully record the state of the place. Take pictures as well if possible and give your landlord a full list of all faults and repairs that are necessary. You should do exactly the same thing when you leave. That way there can be no arguments about who caused any damage.

Sorry I can’t be more helpful.


Benson at Orange Riverwalk store for being “polite, pleasant and helpful.” Our reader says that “Orange should get more staff like him!”

Another reader celebrated Ms Mauku at the South African High Commission for her “painstaking assistance” and “great service”.

Keep the celebrations coming in!

No comments: