Wendy Knowler's Consumer Hacks - Expert tips | East Coast Radio

Wendy Knowler's Consumer Hacks - Expert tips

Know your rights as a consumer. ECR’s Consumer Watchdog, Wendy Knowler, is giving us daily consumer tips to help empower you as a consumer. Here are this week’s Consumer Hacks from Wendy.

Consumer Hacks with Wendy Knowler
East Coast Radio

1. Before you cut that plug off, listen up…

Have you ever removed the plug from a new appliance and replaced it with one of your own?

If so, you also cut off your chances of a warranty claim being approved.

That’s because by altering a product “contrary to instructions” you give up your Consumer Protection Act right to return faulty goods within 6 months for a refund, replacement or repair.

So best you leave the original plug on and use an adapter instead. 

2. Car tracking - there’s a good chance you’re overpaying

When last did you investigate whether you’re getting the best deal on your tracking device and service?

Roger was paying a tracking company R1600 per month to cover five cars, when a competitor quoted him R1050 to cover those cars, with new tracking devices, a better interface and an app.

In other words, a saving of more than R500 pm for a technologically advanced product.

That’s because he was “out of contract” on those vehicles and had just let the debit order run every month without investigating his subscription amount or the product’s technical capability.

If you don’t ask the questions your subscription will keep on going up. 

When it comes to car tracking devices, I am pretty sure many people are paying “top dollar” for relatively old technology. Out of sight, out of mind. So ask!  

3. Don’t be fooled by a great-looking ad

A word about those adverts that pop up on Facebook and Instagram.
Please don’t click on pay without first doing your homework, starting with checking out the reviews on the likes of HelloPeter and TrustPilot.
The rave reviews in the company’s Facebook post don’t count!

Is there no physical address in that ad?  That’s a good indication that you’re not going to get what you paid for. 
If there is a company address, use Google Maps to check whether or not it’s legit. 

No phone number? That’s another red flag.  Bottom line - when shopping online, it pays to play detective.

4. Wake up before you Viagogo

Going online to buy tickets to a concert or sporting event?

Many people have inadvertently landed on ticket reselling site Viagogo and paid massively inflated amounts for tickets which, they later learn, are considered by the organisers to be invalid.

Tickets for next year’s Afrikaburn, which takes place in the Karoo, have already popped up on Viagogo - before the organisers have even thought about numbers and pricing!

So, always check what site you are on when buying tickets online, to ensure you are where you want to be. And investigate the face value of tickets before you start shopping. 

5. No cooling-off period on a car

We do get the benefit of a week in which to change our minds - for reasons you don’t have to reveal - about something we’ve bought or committed to - e.g. a cell phone contract.

But not if you did the deal in a physical store or dealership.

You get to change your mind within five working days ONLY if you buy something online or as a result of direct marketing - such as a telesales call.

So there’s no cooling-off period on a car purchase, as so many people assume.

Prefer to listen to the Consumer Hacks? Listen below.

Contact Wendy KnowlerGet in touch with Wendy via her website or her Facebook page. Please note that Wendy is not able to personally respond to every email she receives. If she is able to take up your case, she will contact you directly. Here are other avenues for you to consider.

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