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

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kebs

Ditto everything that CCG said!!

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SProducts

About the refund, I would like to know my rights as a seller with regard to below scenario?

 

I had a buyer who bought a phone, within a week after he received it he emailed me saying the battery cover was falling off. I requested him to send it back so I check for him which he did, he also requested to exchange the phone for another model as he didnt like the touch screen model and I agreed to it.

When I received the phone, it was in a bad condition and it looked like it had been used for atleast a year. The camera cover was also falling off, the metal surrounding the phone had cracks. It was clear the phone had been dropped, more than once in my view. I informed the buyer that I wouldnt exchange due to the condition and he agreed it was dropped. I then had the camera cover fixed and the battery cover and sent it back.

 

What happens if a product is defective but when you receive it its in a very bad condition as in above example? Am I obligated to refund or exchange a product which was clearly mishandled by the buyer?

Edited by SProducts

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

 

Unfortunately the Act stipulates you must supply this to the buyer, I am not sure that there will be any way around that.

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qball
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.

 

Not necessarily. Buy Nows will still be utilised, as I stated before, buyers have always had rights (nothing new about this), and any seller selling items using Buy Nows, as long as they are running their business within the parameters of the Act will not have any issues (advertising correctly and accurately, full disclosure, warranties, refund and exchange policies in place etc.). An eBook is still a product that has been offered for sale, however, I would think the law would look at what was reasonable regarding returns as the buyer would have had the use of the product for a period of time. But this is a difficult one to answer, if possible you would need to seek additional legal advice on that.

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qball
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!

 

I stand corrected but we may have to display this to the buyer when they place the order, either that or your will have to supply it to them when invoicing and completing the order from your side. Whilst there are many concerns about this, the Act is very clear about this unfortunately.

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kebs
Unfortunately the Act stipulates you must supply this to the buyer, I am not sure that there will be any way around that.

 

Do you think I could send the buyer that info in an email after they have paid? Then at least people just messing around, & some who buy just to get that info ( I have had several buyers in the past admit to doing that ) won't get the info as they won't need it? I've had some people buy something, then email me to say they were looking my phone number as they want to know if I can get xyz for them. They were not at all interested in the actual item they purchased!

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LikeNeedWant

With regards e-Books, take a look at Kalahari.net's T&C, they seemed to have covered it nicely, though I'm not sure whether these are their new T&C covering the CPA, or not. Still, it could help somewhat.

 

What is tickling my brain at the moment is Section 20(2)(a), regarding goods being found unsuitable for there intended purpose. It seems to imply that the intended purpose needs to have been communicated to the supplier, but how does one ensure it isn't abused by some?

 

I'm busy updating the T&C on our website and it is a headache working through the Act - one keeps having to jump back to previous sections referenced in new sections to see what is acceptable and what isn't. And the T&C has to be in plain language, why can't the Act also be in plain language?

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KMartin
HI

2ND HAND GOODS ARE NOT COVERED BY THE ACT IN ANY WAY AND ONLY THE SUPPLIER GUARANTEE WILL BE EFEECTIVE EG

NEIL

 

True, but i would say 80% of goods here are new items not 2nd hand

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LikeNeedWant

In answer to lilythepink's question

 

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?
All returns are done at the suppliers risk and expense, except in the case of items bought through direct marketing and the buyer has changed their mind within the cooling off period. This has considerable impact on BoB sellers pockets, since you're now out of pocket on the return postage and any success fees on BoB. Edited by LikeNeedWant
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Cali Craft and Gems

I agree with Kebs re supplying your personal information only after the buyer has made payment. I too have received bids in the past followed with an email stating that the item is not wanted, but my personal info was! (this was one of the after-hours calls received too).

 

If the buyer completes the payment this indicates that he / she is most likely a genuine buyer, then they can get my details... am I right or wrong? There are far too many undesirables out there just waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting person. Fraud, harassment, identity theft, etc - too many risks which I am not prepared to take!

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meeks
I agree with Kebs re supplying your personal information only after the buyer has made payment. I too have received bids in the past followed with an email stating that the item is not wanted, but my personal info was! (this was one of the after-hours calls received too).

 

If the buyer completes the payment this indicates that he / she is most likely a genuine buyer, then they can get my details... am I right or wrong? There are far too many undesirables out there just waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting person. Fraud, harassment, identity theft, etc - too many risks which I am not prepared to take!

 

 

I agree with Cali. Had a buyer place an order on a buy now at 10.30 at night. lo and behold, just before 11 same night this buyer phones me, and says "ok, we placed an order on an item, so when can you post?" My hubby was NOT impressed, and asked me to remove contact number from my BOB acccount. Now with this new act, he reckons. this is our home,it is in HIS name, and to make the address public for all to see, would require HIS permission,as we have the right to privacy and personal safety, if not, the Human Rights Law is contradicted.???

Edited by meeks

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SProducts
I agree with Cali. Had a buyer place an order on a buy now at 10.30 at night. lo and behold, just before 11 same night this buyer phones me, and says "ok, we placed an order on an item, so when can you post?" My hubby was NOT impressed, and asked me to remove contact number from my BOB acccount. Now with this new act, he reckons. this is our home,it is in HIS name, and to make the address public for all to see, would require HIS permission,as we have the right to privacy and personal safety, if not, the Human Rights Law is contradicted.???

 

I stand for correction here, but from what I have picked up when reading through one of the guids posted here, it states the buyer must get an invoice or receipt with all the contact and addresses including registration numbers, etc.

 

Your right to sales records

• Consumers have the right to demand confirmation of purchases made, in the form of

receipts or invoices.

• Suppliers are required to include, via receipts or invoices, the following:

o Suppliers’ full contact information, business names and Value-Added Tax (VAT)

registration numbers.

o Name and description of goods;

o Date/s on which the transaction/s took place;

o Unit price of goods purchased;

o Quantity of goods purchased;

o Total price of transaction/s, including any applicable taxes; and

o Full contact information, business names and addresses.

Doesnt this means this information can be supplied after payment unless the buyer request it beforehand?

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RAG Auctioneers

So now if the post office breaks or loses a parcel we get a refund even if we did not take insurance?

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qball
I agree with Cali. Had a buyer place an order on a buy now at 10.30 at night. lo and behold, just before 11 same night this buyer phones me, and says "ok, we placed an order on an item, so when can you post?" My hubby was NOT impressed, and asked me to remove contact number from my BOB acccount. Now with this new act, he reckons. this is our home,it is in HIS name, and to make the address public for all to see, would require HIS permission,as we have the right to privacy and personal safety, if not, the Human Rights Law is contradicted.???

 

We will be seeking clarity on this, but I would guess payment, the problem is, we hold the contact details on our DB, so we would not be able to determine if sellers who receive payment directly are complying with the Act.

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qball
So now if the post office breaks or loses a parcel we get a refund even if we did not take insurance?

 

I think the Act will look at what is fair and reasonable.

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qball
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

 

Please bear in mind that bidorbuy is not a legal expert, so the opinions we give here are merely for guidance, we are not obliged to advise you or give you feedback regarding the Act, but will be trying to assist users in understanding it. If you seek clarity or more information you will need to consult an attorney/lawyer for this. This is not legal advice, rather how we see things relating to the Act.

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qball
I stand for correction here, but from what I have picked up when reading through one of the guids posted here, it states the buyer must get an invoice or receipt with all the contact and addresses including registration numbers, etc.

 

Your right to sales records

• Consumers have the right to demand confirmation of purchases made, in the form of

receipts or invoices.

• Suppliers are required to include, via receipts or invoices, the following:

o Suppliers’ full contact information, business names and Value-Added Tax (VAT)

registration numbers.

o Name and description of goods;

o Date/s on which the transaction/s took place;

o Unit price of goods purchased;

o Quantity of goods purchased;

o Total price of transaction/s, including any applicable taxes; and

o Full contact information, business names and addresses.

Doesnt this means this information can be supplied after payment unless the buyer request it beforehand?

 

It could be sent when you dispatch the goods, by generating an invoice from your Sales section on the order itself.

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qball

I guess a lot depends on what the Act says about when details must be given. Upon payment? Or upon the buyer winning the auction or placing an order using a Buy Now. The Act does not specifically state this so it is open to debate...

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lilythepink
In answer to lilythepink's question

 

All returns are done at the suppliers risk and expense, except in the case of items bought through direct marketing and the buyer has changed their mind within the cooling off period. This has considerable impact on BoB sellers pockets, since you're now out of pocket on the return postage and any success fees on BoB.

 

Thanks for this, but the way I read the posts it seems as though all these aspects will only apply for "Buy Nows" and not for things sold on auctions? Or have I missed something?

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lilythepink
So now if the post office breaks or loses a parcel we get a refund even if we did not take insurance?

 

My guess is that the PO will find some way to circumvent this Act!

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qball
Thanks for this, but the way I read the posts it seems as though all these aspects will only apply for "Buy Nows" and not for things sold on auctions? Or have I missed something?

 

It will pertain mainly to buy now's, as auctions are exempt from the Act.

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voldermort

the benefits of living with a lawyer to be..........thought this might be interesting to other sellers:

if a bidder asks for you to retract their bid before the auction closes, you have to do it. also, the buyer can rescind (cancel) the contract/sale within 5 working days, and you have to accept that and return his cash. this all applies to auctions and buy nows. if the buyer sends the item back within this allotted period, unopened and in its original packaging, then you can't charge the consumer for this (i.e. you'd have to cover the additional postage costs) - see s20(6)(a) of the Act.

 

here's the part of the act that talks about this

 

(6) In determining the right of a supplier to impose a charge contemplated in

subsection (5), if any goods returned to the supplier in terms of this section are—

(a) in the original unopened packaging, the supplier may not charge the consumer

any amount in respect of the goods;

 

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bitesize

I don't like the idea of giving out my ID and I doubt it will be required because the buyer isn't a company who should have the right to your ID. If that was required then I won't be a seller anymore because of fraud with ID numbers.

 

I don't mind providing all of my details, but maybe as a seller you should have a seperate number other than your private contact number. Can we as sellers have a post box instead of providing our home address, and use a rica number for business hours only instead of providing our private numbers?

 

After all, companies are only contactable during business hours. As long as you provide contactable ref and are available during the hours stated, then it shouldn't be a problem right?

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RAG Auctioneers

"also, the buyer can rescind (cancel) the contract/sale within 5 working days, and you have to accept that and return his cash."

 

I dont see how this would work with auctions.

What about lots "sold as is"?

The buyer can buy it, test it, and then return it?

In terms of traditional auction concepts this would not make sense.

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KMartin

The act states the buyer has to have all information about the product/service he/she is about to purchase before he/she decides upon it. Otherwise he/she is not obligated to made any payments.

So one would have to send invoice, or provide the details to the buyer once auction has been won, and before payment has been made.

 

The section about standard rate's will be interesting. Somehow drop shippers have to come up with a standard rate, and guess the future if customs stop it, as they wont be able to list ( x% may be charged for customs ) Full and final amount must be listed in T&C of sale.

 

Quick off topic, someone like GAME gonna have problems. if they list a DSTV special for R599 incl installation.. they now have to list the prices. eg.. IRD R100, Installation R100, 90cm Metal dish R100 ect....

Also they have to have enough stock in hand, if they run a special for a month they have to have enough stock for that month based of stats of specials before. If they run out of decoders during the month special, they can be taken to court too.

Went to a Multichoice workshop last week, they had to change there whole subscription agreement, and soon they going to be scanning in all signed documents and the subscriber can view there agreement online if there is any questions.

 

With that bare in mind if anyone runs a special, have enough stock to last the whole special.

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