So you got food poisoning from that meal - can you prove it? | Consumer Hacks

So you got food poisoning from that meal - can you prove it?

From food poisoning to balloon payments and details of which contracts don't automatically expire, Wendy Knowler has five new Consumer Hacks for you.

Consumer Hacks with Wendy Knowler - Food poisoning
East Coast Radio & Canva

1. So you got food poisoning from that meal - can you prove it?

The Consumer Protection Act allows us to hold suppliers and manufacturers of goods (including food) liable for damages or injuries after using or consuming those goods, irrespective of whether there was any negligence on the part of the supplier or manufacturer. In the case of food poisoning, that means we can claim back medical costs and loss of income. But here’s the thing: you do have to prove that there is a link between the product and any subsequent harm you suffered. So if you want your food poisoning claim to succeed, you have two things tested by an accredited lab: a sample of the remains of the dodgy food, and a sample of whatever erupted from your body when you were ill. And be prepared to pay for that upfront.

2. Can you demand a refund if what you’ve bought later goes on sale?

Sivi emailed me about his dilemma: “I bought dishwasher from a major retailer on the 26th of November it went on special 25 days later. “My dishwasher has not yet been used. Kindly advise if I can request the difference of what I paid and the sale price as I bought it less than a month ago? Or can tell them that I want a full refund as the item is still brand new according to the Consumer Protection Act? No, and no. Sometimes you win with sales and sometimes you don’t. If there’s nothing wrong with something you’ve bought from a physical store, you have not right to return it.

3. These contracts don’t “expire” on their own 

If you have a fixed-term contract  - for a cellphone, gym or car tracking for example - remember that they don’t automatically lapse and let you off the hook when it gets to the end date. According to the Consumer Protection Act, you still have to give a month’s cancellation notice “in writing or other recorded manner and form” as the Act puts it. So do it by phone or by e-mail - I suggest the latter. But don’t let the company dictate to you which one they will accept. 

4. Don’t rely on getting a full refund for your excess tiles 

When buying tiles for your home, you inevitably end up over-ordering. 
Tile retailers will take back unopened boxes, if they are in a re-saleable condition, but some charge a handling fee, usually between 10% to 30%. And yes, they can, because there is nothing in law which compels a physical store to take back a product if it’s not defective.
So, when tile shopping, compare not only the price per square metre but the cost of returning any unwanted, unopened boxes of tiles.

5. That car balloon payment deal could explode in your face

I received an email from Sayed: “My wife purchased a vehicle on finance a year ago and can longer afford it. If we sell the car, we still won't afford the balloon payment or the shortfall. What are her options?” This is why, in my view, buying a car with a balloon deal - a very large final payment at the end of your five or six years - is a very bad idea.  If that’s the only way you can afford the monthly instalment, you can’t afford the car. Avoid.

Listen to more Consumer Hacks below:

Consumer Hacks with Wendy Knowler
East Coast Radio

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