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MacMuffin

Consumer Protection Act - how are you going to change your business?

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MacMuffin    0
MacMuffin

You probably know that the CPA will kick in on the 1st April. Seeing that the law ensures an implied six-month guarantee in any goods purchased, regardless of the guarantees offered by the specific supplier - how have you prepared your business for this scenario?

 

Although laws like this exist in the Europe/USA (i.e. you purchase a toaster from a store and it backs up within 6 months you are entitled for a full refund, replacement or repair). While this will be quite a challenge for sellers and the retail market as a whole, one can not deny the fact how much power the consumer gets. It will be interesting to see how this will affect some of the sub-standard service we receive.

 

Would love to hear your response to this and what you have done or how you think this will affect your business.

 

BTW: We did a writeup some time back - The Consumer Protection Act and bidorbuy Buyers and Sellers

Edited by MacMuffin

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kebs    10
kebs

Can a seller offer store credit instead of a refund?

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Vinyl Lady Decals    10
Vinyl Lady Decals

Hi Macmuffin

 

I have no problem offering a guarantee like this, I would like to know how the consumer Protection Act affects downloads?

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MacMuffin    0
MacMuffin

I will see if one of our "legal eagles" can have a look at questioned posted in this thread and we can then feature clarifications on our blog. So if you are unsure, post your questions/concerns here and we will see that we can get some answers.

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kebs    10
kebs

I would prefer store credit as a refund poses more costs.. Also, will the time frame for an SNC then increase to 6 months in case one does have to do a refund?

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JacoJ    10
JacoJ
I would prefer store credit as a refund poses more costs.. Also, will the time frame for an SNC then increase to 6 months in case one does have to do a refund?

 

Actually the Act gives the Buyer the option to either choose a refund, store credit, repair, or replacement depending on the situation. The seller will not be in a position to dictate the remedy to the buyer. Again, we would have to see what happens in actual case law once the ACT is effective and challenged.

 

With regards to the SNC process, bidorbuy will not be making any changes to its current SNC process. This will be monitored on an ongoing basis and if the need does arise to re-evaluate the SNC process it will be communicated well in advance.

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bitesize    10
bitesize

it would affect me as a buyer and seller. i would want the protection and as a seller i would want the buyer to be happy. the only problem is that some buyers can take full advantage and claim to have a problem when there isn't one.

 

if the buyer has a problem, can we request that the item be returned before a refund can be made?

 

i think when the ACT comes into place, some buyers might have more confidence in buying and more sales could be made meaning an advantage to sellers. it's a 50/50 thing. sellers will have to be more careful with listings and products.

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kebs    10
kebs

I think I'll offer credit then rather than a refund.. Otherwise the seller fee part of the refund will be a loss on the sellers side. But I would only offer if the seller actually sends the item back to me.. Fortunately most of the items I sell can only stop working by human error & damage by the buyer..

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LikeNeedWant    10
LikeNeedWant
I think I'll offer credit then rather than a refund

 

Unfortunately the choice is not yours Kebs - you can offer 'store credit' to the buyer, but it is up to the buyer to decide whether they will accept 'store credit' or demand a full refund. You cannot pick and choose which option to offer the customer and say that is all that is available. The Act provides for all the previously mentioned options to be available to the buyer, and it is they who decide which to accept.

 

It does stipulate that the item is being returned as it is no longer suitable for the purpose for which it was bought (though the purpose should be a reasonable one for the item bought i.e. a kettle is used to boil water, not to cook food). The item must be returned in order for the seller to establish that the item has failed as a result of a manufacturing flaw, and that no modifications have been made to the item, or self-repairs attempted. The Act also stipulates that an item cannot be returned simply because a newer model with better features is now available.

 

What I am curious about is the following

 

goods to be delivered remain at the supplier's risk until the consumer has accepted delivery of them

 

Does that apply to any form of delivery (including SAPO), or only to items bought at a furniture store, etc. which the supplier has to deliver to you home because of there size, etc.

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lilythepink    10
lilythepink

@Mac - I don't think this is going to affect me at all as IF a seller is unhappy with the product I sell, I will happily offer a refund. What I would like to know, though, is postage to be refunded as well and, if so, will it include the buyer's postage to return an article to me? (I think the answer will apply to all sellers on BoB so it is worth finding out about it!)

 

From my point of view - we have SO MANY laws in SA which, good as they may be, cannot be properly policed so I am most interested to see how the government intends policing (properly!) the new Consumer Protection Act!! We still see plenty of smokers puffing away merrily where they shouldn't be smoking ...!

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KMartin    10
KMartin

New CPA to hold alot of sellers back and stop many dropshippers.

 

As everyone should know by now, as of 1 April this means you.

 

All sellers MUST provide buyers with there company reg or ID number, as well as full contact details. So those who don't have there phone numbers and address added to there profiles at checkout are in failure of the act and the buyer has the right to cancel the agreement of sale.

buyer must just keep to there side and are only allowed to contact the seller during working buiseness hours monday to friday 8am to 5pm

 

As for drop shippers this gets way more complicated. New act states you must tell the buyer an when the parcel will get to him, and can not have any hidden costs.. eg.. tax, import duties ect... That price and exact amount must be listed in the auction, no hidden costs anymore.

Any item sold, local or International must have atleast 6 month full refund. eg.. i buy a kettle, 5 months later kettle don't boil water, i can get full refund and the item i bought no longer serves the function i bought it for. The company i bought it from owes me a full refund, and it is up to the seller to cover costs of returned goods, should it have been an online purchase.

 

Also added is that every seller has the same right to sell or buy any goods, eg.. if you can drop ship so can i. If someone will not allow you to sell your goods but will allow another, its against the new CPA. unfair trade and the copany allowing this can be sued for up to R1mill or 10% of yearly income.

Although this alone will change alot, the new act also talks about one not allowed to sell goods he/she do not have with them.

Also mentioned was that if you purchase anything you have not personally seen, ( for us means anything on bob ) and it is not what you though it was, you get full refund withing 7 days.

It also says standard rates for services, eg.. cellphone ad's on tv.. x amount per minute .. all rates has to be standard, that would also include shipping.. can't have one seller charging R330 and another R200. A standard shipping rate is now required, if it be 1 rate for local and one rate for international. ( although the seller can offer what method, being SAPO or speed Services ) it has to be standard.

 

 

those wanting to be verified sellers, if you pay the R100 , and you not approved you should get the refund as you you did not get what you paid for ( approved status ) Everything is refundable now, if you don't get what you intended to pay for.

 

 

 

There are so many new laws within this act i suggest you all read them carefully within the next 2 days or you could see yourselves facing alot of fines.

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KMartin    10
KMartin

Just to add,

"Gone will be the days when someone accidentally bids and is made liable for their purchase. They have the power to retract, as long as it's before the fall of the hammer"

"Regarding auction bids, a new piece of legislation will affect the actual auction sale and will affect the way auctioneers conduct sales. Now bids may be retracted until the fall of the hammer and cannot be made non-retractable before this point"

 

so you would be allowed to cancel your bid before the bid ends, if the company/person don't give you the option before closure they against the new act and can face huge fines.

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lilythepink    10
lilythepink

If a buyer asks me to delete a bid, I do. To me it just seems the right thing to do, even if I lose out on a profitable sale I save myself problems of having a buyer who doesn't complete the order or pay and I'd rather give someone else (who does want the item) a chance to bid and win.

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Cali Craft and Gems    10
Cali Craft and Gems

I tried to do some research on this act online and have only ended up more confused than ever...

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KMartin    10
KMartin
If a buyer asks me to delete a bid, I do. .

 

As of new Act the buyer must have the option to cancel the bid themselves.

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alloway65    10
alloway65

Thanks KMartin,

 

A very interesting synopsis.

 

I must say with all the fraud going around I do have a problem giving every Tom, **** and Mary either my Company Information or my ID Number.

 

From a part time BoB sellers perspective re the retraction of bids up to the "drop of the hammer", this can be very tricky if one is not glued to their screen as their auction closing time approaches. I for one log off before 6PM, so on that basis the closing time of my auctions should be before the time I log off, to enable me to "process" any cancel bid requests!

 

Therefore if one is off-line when a bid cancellation request comes through, then when one does log-on they can find the have sold an item to a "non bidder" from a legal perspective....interesting!

 

Regards

 

David

 

**** is a persons name.....D**k and it was deleted.....not a slang name for something else!!!!!

Edited by alloway65

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ATA STAMP CENTRE    10
ATA STAMP CENTRE

HI

Please note that KMARTIN has given a broad description of the act and but there is no need for any panic by bob sellers-FIRSTLY THE CPA EXCLUDES GOODS BOUGHT AT AN AUCTION FROM THE RIGHT OF RETURN AND IMPLIED WARRANTY BENEFITS-THERE IS NO LEGAL RECOURSE OFFERED BY THE CPA FOR THIS.

SECONDLY-2ND HAND GOODS ARE NOT COVERED BY THE ACT IN ANY WAY AND ONLY THE SUPPLIER GUARANTEE WILL BE EFEECTIVE EG IF I GIVE 30 DAYS ON A 2ND HAND TV AND YOU ACCEPT THOSE TERMS AND THE TV BREAKS AFTER 35 DAYS THEN THERE IS NO CPA TO COVER THIS.

If you trade as you would normally and offer good products and good service all round with your own reasonable warranty then nothing should change for you as a seller.

NEIL

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MacMuffin    0
MacMuffin

Lots of discussions and spreading of FUD (fear - uncertainty - doubt). I don't consider myself a CPA expert (that's where we pay exorbitant fees to lawyers), but I have noticed that our "reliable" sources (newspapers and blogs) do seem to spread a lot of non-sense without stating ALL the facts.

 

As an example there is talk that now anyone can cancel a long-term contract (such as a cell-phone contract) - this is very well the case, but people forget that the CPA also covers that in case of a premature cancellation, reasonable penalties can be applied (i.e. you would have to pay the subsidized phone and other fees).

 

Enforcing the CPA will be something completely different. I have yet to see any notion about some arbitration council (although I heard on 702 that the government has a dedicated department). The act for example covers that suppliers may not charge unreasonable prices - so what is unreasonable? (one can immediately challenge Eskom, all cellular providers etc).

 

The same applies to direct marketing - spam via SMS or email should not exist after 1st April, but yet (2 days before CPA coming into effect) I just received a MMS from Nissan about some marketing campaign (*** knows how they got my cell-number)

 

I did find a good writeup here: http://www.dti.gov.za/ccrd/Consumer_protection_bill.pdf

 

I think whoever in the government manages CPA claims will have to contend with a flood of legal cases. A case in point is "Suppliers and service providers are required to display labelling and trade descriptions of products, which do not mislead consumers about the contents of the packaging" where in a recent study it was shown that the claim of pro-biotic products was false (out of 22 products, 16 would have to be relabeled as their claims could not be substantiated).

 

ATA is right - there are certain exemptions and there are provisions excluding certain parts of the CPA when it comes to online auctions. Jaco/Cuan will be able to give more detail on this.

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qball    11
qball
Thanks KMartin,

 

A very interesting synopsis.

 

I must say with all the fraud going around I do have a problem giving every Tom, **** and Mary either my Company Information or my ID Number.

 

From a part time BoB sellers perspective re the retraction of bids up to the "drop of the hammer", this can be very tricky if one is not glued to their screen as their auction closing time approaches. I for one log off before 6PM, so on that basis the closing time of my auctions should be before the time I log off, to enable me to "process" any cancel bid requests!

 

Therefore if one is off-line when a bid cancellation request comes through, then when one does log-on they can find the have sold an item to a "non bidder" from a legal perspective....interesting!

 

Regards

 

David

 

**** is a persons name.....D**k and it was deleted.....not a slang name for something else!!!!!

 

Hi David

 

ID numbers do not have to be supplied.

 

What does have to be supplied is the following (section 26 of the Act, in conjunction with the ECT Act Section 43).

 

ECT Act sec 43 states:

 

43.

(1) A supplier offering goods or services for sale, for hire or for

exchange by way of an electronic transaction must make the following

information available to consumers on the web site where such goods or

services are offered:

 

(a) Its full name and legal status;

(b) its physical address and telephone number;

© its web site address and e-mail address;

(d) membership of any self-regulatory or accreditation bodies to which

that supplier belongs or subscribes and the contact details of that body;

(e) any code of conduct to which that supplier subscribes and how that

code of conduct may be accessed electronically by the consumer;

(f) in the case of a legal person, its registration number, the names of

its office bearers and its place of registration;

(g) the physical address where that supplier will receive legal service of

documents;

(h) a sufficient description of the main characteristics of the goods or

services offered by that supplier to enable a consumer to make an informed

decision on the proposed electronic transaction;

(i) the full price of the goods or services, including transport costs,

taxes and any other fees or costs;

(j) the manner of payment;

(k) any terms of agreement, including any guarantees, that will apply to

the transaction and how those terms may be accessed, stored and reproduced

electronically by consumers;

(l) the time within which the goods will be dispatched or delivered or

within which the services will be rendered;

(m) the manner and period within which consumers can access and maintain a

full record of the transaction;

(n) the return, exchange and refund policy of that supplier;

(o) any alternative dispute resolution code to which that supplier

subscribes and how the wording of that code may be accessed electronically

by the consumer;

(p) the security procedures and privacy policy of that supplier in respect

of payment, payment information and personal information;

(q) where appropriate, the minimum duration of the agreement in the case

of agreements for the supply of products or services to be performed on an

ongoing basis or recurrently; and

® the rights of consumers in terms of section 44, where applicable.

 

(2) The supplier must provide a consumer with an opportunity—*

 

(a) to review the entire electronic transaction;

(b) to correct any mistakes; and

© to withdraw from the transaction, before finally placing any order.

 

(3) If a supplier fails to comply with the provisions of subsection (1) or

(2), the consumer may cancel the transaction within 14 days of receiving

the goods or services under the transaction.

(4) If a transaction is cancelled in terms of subsection (3)—*

 

(a) the consumer must return the performance of the supplier or, where

applicable, cease using the services performed; and

(b) the supplier must refund all payments made by the consumer minus the

direct cost of returning the goods.

 

(5) The supplier must utilise a payment system that is sufficiently secure

with reference to accepted technological standards at the time of the

transaction and the type of transaction concerned.

(6) The supplier is liable for any damage suffered by a consumer due to a

failure by the supplier to comply with subsection (5).

 

This means all sellers will have to supply contact details - telephone number and physical address. We will be monitoring errant sellers in this regard.

 

Cheers

Cuan

Edited by qball

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qball    11
qball
HI

Please note that KMARTIN has given a broad description of the act and but there is no need for any panic by bob sellers-FIRSTLY THE CPA EXCLUDES GOODS BOUGHT AT AN AUCTION FROM THE RIGHT OF RETURN AND IMPLIED WARRANTY BENEFITS-THERE IS NO LEGAL RECOURSE OFFERED BY THE CPA FOR THIS.

SECONDLY-2ND HAND GOODS ARE NOT COVERED BY THE ACT IN ANY WAY AND ONLY THE SUPPLIER GUARANTEE WILL BE EFEECTIVE EG IF I GIVE 30 DAYS ON A 2ND HAND TV AND YOU ACCEPT THOSE TERMS AND THE TV BREAKS AFTER 35 DAYS THEN THERE IS NO CPA TO COVER THIS.

If you trade as you would normally and offer good products and good service all round with your own reasonable warranty then nothing should change for you as a seller.

NEIL

 

Neil is correct, there is no need for panic. Buyers rights have been protected by common law prior to this and any issues like disclosure, responsible marketing and manner in which goods are advertised have always been protected, but it has been formalised now in the new CPA.

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qball    11
qball
it would affect me as a buyer and seller. i would want the protection and as a seller i would want the buyer to be happy. the only problem is that some buyers can take full advantage and claim to have a problem when there isn't one.

 

if the buyer has a problem, can we request that the item be returned before a refund can be made?

 

i think when the ACT comes into place, some buyers might have more confidence in buying and more sales could be made meaning an advantage to sellers. it's a 50/50 thing. sellers will have to be more careful with listings and products.

 

Return of goods is covered by Section 20 and section 56 of the Act (excluding auctions).

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kebs    10
kebs

So what does one do when you operate from home & for security reasons don't want your full address disclosed?

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Vinyl Lady Decals    10
Vinyl Lady Decals

It appears from what I have read here, that most sales will change from the Buy Now format to the auction as it appears to give sellers more protection.

 

@ Cuan

 

Please find out from your legal eagles about downloads and how these are affected. It is very easy for a buyer to want a refund for these, but they can't physically be returned as such. A buyer can easily read the ebook and then decide they want a refund and claim they are unhappy with the product just to get the refund and keep the ebook. I would really appreciate feedback about this.

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Cali Craft and Gems    10
Cali Craft and Gems

Re the physical address and contact number - must it be displayed in our online info or must BoB just have it available on record on their side?

 

The main reason I ask this is that I don't want just anyone to have my contact number or physical address! This is primarily for security and harassment issues (thus me removing it from the system in the first place). I have the box address listed because I don't want strangers at my doorstep, etc. (the box address and my cell number is also on all outgoing mail to the buyers in case they need to return anything)

 

I really do not want to make my phone number visible to everyone (buyers / sellers) due to past issues with people phoning / sending sms' at all hours of the day or night regardless of the office hours that are shown on the listing. Our cellphones are never switched off or turned to silent just in case we are needed in an emergency. I initially removed my contact number from BoB because I was getting calls early hours of the morning asking about transactions, etc which was really ridiculous!

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