Wendy Knowler's Consumer Hacks: Expired Vouchers and Refund Realities | East Coast Radio

Wendy Knowler's Consumer Hacks: Expired Vouchers & Refund Realities

In the world of consumer rights and retail transactions, knowledge is power, and knowing your rights can make a significant difference when dealing with returns, vouchers, refunds, pricing errors, and gym contracts. Here are the latest Consumer Hacks from Wendy Knowler...

Consumer Hacks with Wendy Knowler
East Coast Radio

1. Know your return rights

Johan writes: “I bought electronic items from a supplier and would like to return them; they are unopened. But the supplier says I can’t because I bought them more than 10 days ago. 
Isn’t that a contravention of the Consumer Protection Act?”
No -  if you buy something in a shop, you have no legal right to return it, unless it’s defective. Most stores do have voluntary policies about “change of heart’ returns, but they vary greatly, so best you check.

2. Vouchers aren’t forever…

A very cross Claudette writes: “I lost a gift voucher and only found it a few days ago, but it expired back in February. The retailer told me that their vouchers are only valid for three years and refused to re-issue another one to that value.”
That retailer is within its rights on this one - the Consumer Protection Act states that pre-paid vouchers must be redeemable for three years. So, use it before you lose it!

3. No, you aren’t entitled to a refund

Question: “I bought a pair of jeans at a shop. They refuse to refund me and will only give a credit note or exchange. But if you buy from their online store, they will refund you.
How do I get a refund?”

Answer: You can’t. If you buy something in a store, you have no right to return it at all unless it’s defective. But if you buy online, you are legally entitled to a 7-day cooling off period, where you get to return the product (at your cost) for a refund, for no particular reason.

4. It’s not a bargain; it’s a mistake

Neil saw an advert for a financed TV  - R90 a  month for 36 months and was keen to grab that bargain. “But when I went into the store to open an account I couldn’t get it for that price. Are they allowed to do that?”
Yes. The Consumer Protection Act gives retailers an “out” when it comes to prices which are “an obvious mistake“. And paying less than R4000 for a TV, including finance charges, does point to an obvious mistake.

5. Read all the small print before you join that gym 

It’s  “shape up for summer” time.. but before you sign a gym contract, best you read ALL the small print of that contract, paying special attention to what you’ll be paying every month, for how many months, and - very important -  what it will cost you to cancel early.
No matter how pumped you are, know that the chances of you not gyming for more than a month or two are very high, so go for the shortest possible contract period. Trust me, that’s your cheapest option, no matter what the salesman says.

Listen to more Consumer Hacks below.

Contact Wendy Knowler:

Get 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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