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TechnoPro

BoB and CPA - Prosecuter, Judge and Jury

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TechnoPro    10
TechnoPro

Please help!

 

I need some input regarding a matter of principal. I would appreciate ALL comments in this regard.

 

A microscope was sold to a buyer on 19 October 2012. The buyer had the unit in her possession until 12 November 2012 when she returned the item claiming it was faulty. At first look it did seem that the unit may be faulty (we discovered afterwards that the buyer just did not mount the eyepiece correctly) and immediately offered to send her another unit. She refused this offer and now stated that the unit is not as per our advertised listing and she no longer wants the unit but rather insisted on getting a refund. At first I refused but after some communication between BoB and myself, pointing out that the user may actually have the right to return the unit for a refund, I agreed to refund the unit less a fair usage and restocking fee of 15%. I raised a SNC indicating the "buyer rejected the product" and proceeded to refund her the purchase price less 15%. I need to point at this stage that the unit is exactly as per our advertised listing, with no false claims about its use or ability.

 

I believe that I am fully complying with the CPA and that I have the full right to claim a certain percentage for "fair use" and handling and restocking.

 

Somehow a member of BoB is now insisting that I refund this buyer IN FULL or they will close my account. I must point out that a senior member of BoB e-mailed me regarding this order in which he indicated that a 10% charge would be considered fair. (To cover our costs we decided that 15% would be fair.) These conflicting messages is truly confusing?

 

BoB is now acting as prosecutor, judge and jury in this case. I am more than willing to defend my case in front of the Consumer commissioner and according to my council I will probable win the case. What do I do in the man time? BoB already restricted my account and I cannot even ask for a payout at this stage. Am I being held ransom by BoB, forcing me to issue a FULL refund or else?

 

The item in question is a microscope and was sold as new for R3100.00

What are your thoughts or advise in this regard?

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Miss Jewels    10
Miss Jewels

As far as I know, and this is according to my nephew who is an attorney, if the item was indeed faulty and this was the buyers only claim, you can replace the item as they are indicating that they still want the item, but in a working condition. The item must also be returned in the exact same condition as it was sold, i.e. not used, dismantled or have markings on it.

If the buyer had indicated that they have changed their mind about the item (it must be a Buy Now), then they are to return the item within your 7 day period for a full refund.

If I read this correctly, this was not the case. The buyer only stated that the item was faulty.

As to restocking fee, in some large companies I deal with (the auto electrical trade) some of our suppliers charge a 20% restocking and handling fee and if the item is specially ordered, there is no return.

BoB also indicated to me that they feel a restocking fee of 10% is acceptable, although I do now quite understand this because in other instances, they have taken a backseat on certain decisions and indicated that they are only the trading platform and do not want to get involved with transactions, unless they really deem it necessary. There are some sellers charging up to 15%, but obviously they have not yet been pointed out.

I personally feel that in your case, if this item is not in the same condition as when you sold it, it can be accepted that it has been used and then you are permitted to charge a reasonable amount for "hire/rent/usage" as well as your restocking fee.

I may be incorrect in this statement, but this is how it was relayed to me. Any feedback from Cuan will be appreciated as I believe he has looked into the CPA quite earnestly.

I am sure however, that there are some forum members who might have the necessary legal knowledge re the CPA on this one.

Hoping that you and BoB can come to an amicable agreement so that your account can be activated again.

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TechnoPro    10
TechnoPro

Thank you for this detailed reply. Cuan is indeed the "senior person" that indicated to me that I can charge a fee.

We would appreciate your continued support and co-operation in resolving this matter, i believe a 10% cancellation/handling fee would be reasonable if you were to refund the buyer.

 

I proceeded to issue the refund less a 15% charge and received this mail tonight from hello@bidorbuy.co.za

Please note account is restricted pending outcome of order nr ******* failure to respond to this email will lead to us deleting your account.

 

I believe I comply to the CPA requirements and in a way (except for charging an additional 5%) complied to the mail received from Cuan.

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admin    0
admin

Hi TechnoPro,

 

Apologies for the restriction on your account. I have added you to the Advanced seller group again. I will leave the rest to be sorted by the powers that be.

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TechnoPro    10
TechnoPro

Thank you very much for the very quick response.

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Miss Jewels    10
Miss Jewels

Admin to the rescue.....as usual. Welkom Mnr!

Hi TechnoPro,

 

Apologies for the restriction on your account. I have added you to the Advanced seller group again. I will leave the rest to be sorted by the powers that be.

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qball    11
qball

As far as bidorbuy is concerned, the choice of repair, replacement or refund is at the consumers discretion, not the seller's. By your own admittance there was a problem with the item as stated on the phone to me. I also personally asked you to send through copies of the correspondence with the buyer from your side, which to date we still have not received from you.

 

As far as the CPA goes, according to sections 54, 55, and 56 cover the return and refund. The reason your account was restricted was due to the fact that we have to wait extended periods of time to receive feedback from you, emails dated 21 and 26 November with no response until the 27th, the buyer contacted us stating no refund had been received as of the 5th December, Derrick has also asked you to confirm the refund on the 5th.

 

Initially the buyer was happy to be refunded less the 10% which we had agreed upon, however, the buyer also did some research and discovered that in terms of the above sections no restocking fee can be charged and thus indicated this to you. Since then you have been silent, thus our email about restricting your account, as no feedback had been received from you since the 28th November.

 

We agreed upon 10%, yet you decided to change it to 15%. in our view, it is still not reasonable. Your compliance was only really seen after we had restricted the account due to no feedback from your side on the 5th.

 

I think sellers need to do the right thing sometimes, yet, many still like to "fight" with consumers and will not budge. What happened to good old customer service? Sometimes we don't need to stick to the letter of the law, just because the law says so, rather do the right thing and turn a negative experience into a positive one for the consumer.

 

This has dragged on for weeks and the only resolution comes from restricting of accounts. The buyer obviously contacts us as they feel they get no service or response from the seller, whether right or wrong, we get dragged into it. So yes, sometimes we will make the call, even though we are not obligated to intervene or resolve the issues, however, we reserve the right to do so should it be necessary to protect the rights of the buyer.

 

As I said, we do appreciate your continued co-operation, but when you drag this out it only causes further harm and frustration for all parties concerned.

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Miss Jewels    10
Miss Jewels

Thank you Cuan, well stated. Yes, as far as I know (and practise) restocking fees are only charged when the buyer changes their mind about an item. If it is delivered faulty or incorrectly, no restocking fee may be charged. I also do not charge a restock fee if the buyers wants to exchange the item for something different or in a different size, as I feel this is good customer service.

The best is obviously, always good communication - between buyer/seller/BoB:wink:

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Petfood    10
Petfood

Self Defense!

 

Thank you Cuan, well stated. Yes, as far as I know (and practise) restocking fees are only charged when the buyer changes their mind about an item. If it is delivered faulty or incorrectly, no restocking fee may be charged. I also do not charge a restock fee if the buyers wants to exchange the item for something different or in a different size, as I feel this is good customer service.

The best is obviously, always good communication - between buyer/seller/BoB:wink:

 

As the buyer concerned I would like to point out that Technopro is still not giving the correct facts here.

I paid for the item on the 19th of October but only received it on the 29th. This was not any fault on the sellers part, I live on a farm and only go to town once a week. The item had apparently arrived on the 25th.

I sent an email to Technopro on 4th November in which I clearly stated that as the microscope was faulty and does not in fact magnify to 2000x as advertised, it was not suitable for my purposes. The operating manual with the microscope also clearly states that the digital enlargement only goes to 1800 with a large screen computer. I did not install the eyepiece incorrectly.

I did not hear from Technopro until the 6th after sending another email asking for the address to which to return the item.

When they did send the address they said they were going to replace the item, in spite of the fact that I had said that I did not want it.

I sent the item back on the 9th of November.

I even offered to purchase a plain optical microscope from them but they do not know their products and were unable to confirm that it had an oil lens. After speaking to some technicians at the PE lab, I was informed that the 100x lens is always an oil lens.

 

On the 13 th November Technopro confirmed they had received the item and informed me that they would be replacing it, regardless of the fact that I did not want it.

On 16th November I requested assistance from BidorBuy.

Technopro have taken 15% for what? Fair usage? I had to try the item to discover it was faulty! And to read the manual to see that it does not go to 2000x

I paid postage to receive and return the item.

Basically Technopro had no costs whatever attached to the transaction.

Moreover, this same item is still being advertised as magnifying to 2000x and is now selling for R3755

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lilythepink    10
lilythepink

The facts speak quite loudly ...!

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