Don’t be bullied into a debit order | Consumer Hacks with Wendy Knowler

Don’t be bullied into a debit order

Can a company force its customers to sign debit order mandates? Wendy Knowler has the lowdown for you in the latest Consumer Hacks.

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1. Don’t be bullied into a debit order

Can a company force its customers to sign debit order mandates?
The Payments Association of South Africa says there is no legislation, regulation or rule prescribing the nature or type of payment for goods or service between consumers and service providers.
And there’s certainly nothing in the Consumer Protection Act which compels consumers to pay via debit order, if that’s what the supplier is insisting on.
If you would to prefer to pay via EFT every month instead, make sure you pay what you’re required to pay and by the specified date, or you’ll end up being punished with fees and interest. 

2. Missed an insurance premium payment? Here’s what you need to know…

According to the Policyholder Protection Rules, insurers must give policyholders written notice that they haven’t received the premium within 15 days of them becoming aware of the non-payment.
And from the second month of the policy being taken out, they are required to give clients the benefit of a grace period of at least 15 days after the due date in which to make payment, during which time the policy does not lapse.

3. Need a laugh? Google “online shopping fails”

Some online shopping fails are brazen scams, especially when it comes to size - furniture that’s for a doll’s house, for example.
Often it’s just smaller than you assumed it would be, because you didn’t think to check the dimensions in the listing - think rugs and pet’s houses.
Legally, when you buy something online, you have a 7-day cooling off period in which to return it for a refund if you don’t want it.
But sending online purchases back is a schlep, and the supplier can make you bear the cost of the return courier, deducting that from your refund.
So check those dimensions!

4. Online purchases: Don’t fall for the “no refund, it was on sale” line

The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECTA) allows you to return an item within seven days of delivery for a refund, minus the courier cost of returning it to them. 
You simply get to change your mind and send it back, which is a perk you don't get when you buy something in a store.
And that perk applies whether the product was on sale or not.
So don’t let an online retailer fob you off by saying you don’t have a cooling off period if you buy on an online sale.

5. Car spares - choose carefully

If you buy a spare part for your car, can you take it back for a refund it you don’t need it after all?
No, you can’t. Not unless you bought it online or it’s defective in some way.
Or if you asked for a specific part and were given another, in which case you’d need a detailed invoice in order to prove the mis-selling, so always insist on one.
Car parts suppliers are notoriously bad at adhering to the Consumer Protection Act, so choose your supplier very carefully, after quizzing them on their returns policies. 

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Consumer Hacks with Wendy Knowler
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