“Retailer Nightmare – Purchase Returns” by Roger Knowles

“Customers can return stuff within 10 days – and you have to refund their money!” One retailer, with his hands clawing the air and hysteria in his voice, told me this recently. He thinks – or, he thought – that this is what the Consumer Protection Act means to his business. Is it true? Only partially. Here are some notes on returns:
Consumers can’t return things they have bought on a whim – except goods bought as a result of direct marketing (watch for a special article on this) Consumers can return goods in certain circumstances only –
• Direct marketing purchases – only if they cancel within 5 days;
• Goods they had not been able to examine before delivery and those goods are defective or of inferior quality;
• They are included in an unacceptable mixture of goods;
• They are unfit for the specific purpose communicated to the supplier – they must be returned within 10 days;
• Defective goods – al items sold to consumer must meet higher standards of quality than perhaps have been required in the past – most goods are ‘guaranteed’ for at least six months, now.
Does that look bad? OK, it could be a concern, but watch the next few articles on this blog; I’ll deal with each of these categories and I’ll talk about the ‘Three R’s – Refunds, Replacements or Repairs’.

Until then, remember this – great customer service will trump the Consumer Protection Act woes nearly every time!


Suppliers 0 – Consumers 5

The game is on! Suppliers are currently coming a poor second….

The Consumer Protection Act came into effect in South Africa on 1st April 2011. It governs almost all transactions in South Africa, but suppliers are not taking as much notice of it as the consumers are. It’s just a matter of time before the claims start rolling in. Will you be a happy, or unhappy,  Defendant?

Here is help for suppliers get to grips with the CPA. We are already helping many professionals and businesspeople all over the country, with –

  • Talks – breakfast, lunch or after-dinner – we entertain and inform
  • Seminars, explaining how the CPA applies to business in general
  • Workshops – working with you in your particular space
  • Consulting in yourt field, helping with the finer points
  • Mediation – a referee, settling & saving money

‘Let the buyer beware’ has been replaced with ‘let the seller beware’; have you made the changes, taken the necessary steps to protect your business or profesional practice? You must change –

Attitudes in your organisation

Processes and documentation

Signs, pricing, directions

Customer connections

Consumers are being educated on a daily basis by activists, the media (radio, newpapers, TV). Meanwhile businesspeople are just too busy keeping their businesses going to worry too much about a new legislation. We offer the services of a true professional, to empower the recentl;y-disempowered, the suppliers.

Contact us for help with the Consumer Protection Act and follow this blog. We are here to help you.