Your insurer could be close to dumping you | Consumer Hacks with Wendy Knowler

Your insurer could be close to dumping you

From shopping around for another policy to photographing online returns, Wendy Knowler has five new Consumer Hacks for you.

Your insurer could be close to dumping you
East Coast Radio & Canva

1. Your insurer could be close to dumping you

If you’ve had a run of bad luck and made several car and or home contents claims in the past two to three years, do yourself a favour and start shopping around for another policy.
Don’t wait for your insurer to dump you with a month’s notice because that’s a really vulnerable position from which to try to secure yourself a new cover for your car.
You will have to declare your claims to other insurance companies - and if you don’t, they have means of finding out anyway - and thanks to your so-called “unfavourable loss ratio” you will struggle to get cover. If you do, the premium will no doubt be much higher than what you’re used to.

2. Make sure you do this before returning a “change of heart” online purchase

Thanks to the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, if you buy something online, you have the benefit of a seven-day cooling off period in which to send it back for a refund - you simply get to change your mind.
That’s provided it’s in a re-saleable condition, of course.
So here’s a key tip - take photos of the item before you return it, as proof that it was indeed in a re-saleable condition when it left your hands - I’ve heard from quite a few people whose returns were rejected due to them being received in poor condition.
A lot can happen after the goods leave your hands, so it pays to capture your own evidence.

3. Seeing red - make no assumptions

A video doing the rounds on X showed a woman removing red price tags underneath certain products at a Makro store, to reveal the original yellow tags underneath, showing the same price.
Nothing wrong with that - the red price tags didn’t claim that the prices had been discounted. We just assume that as consumers, right?
Makro told me they use red-price tickets both when a product is on promotion and when products are in the process of being discontinued.
So, the products in the video - baby products such as prams - have been discontinued.
Happily, the retailer undertook to "relook at the process”.

4. Pay attention to the description

Never make assumptions about what’s in a product based on previous experience, the way it looks or where it’s sold in a supermarket.
For example, not all yoghurts are yoghurt - if they are called dairy snacks, they have too little protein, i.e. milk, to qualify for the yoghurt description.  And if it’s called braaiwors or just wors, the meat content of that sausage is not premium enough to justify the boerewors description. Also, you may refer to Nestle Milkybar as chocolate, but it’s called a “creamy white confection” for a reason - there’s no cocoa in it!

5. Never leave your rented home without doing this

Before you move into a rented property, you and the agent or owner should go from room to room noting any defects, and when you later move out, this process should be repeated, so both can agree on any damage you are liable to pay for, by means of a deduction from your deposit.
But if that exit inspection doesn’t happen, legally - the Rental Housing Act - that is regarded as an acknowledgement by the landlord or agent that the place is in a good state and they must then refund the full deposit, plus interest, within a week.

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Consumer Hacks with Wendy Knowler
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