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Caveat emptor

26 July 2012, 11:50

How many of us have gone out to finalise an arrangement or contract only to discover that the level of honesty by the seller is not above board and seriously lacking. It would be interesting to know the amount of petty fraud that takes place in our country and the perpetrators are getting away with it.    

In 1999 I purchased a second hand Nissan 1400 bakkie. From a “reputable dealer” The vehicle was paid for in hard cash. About 3 weeks later we found that most of the safety gadgets on the bakkie works poorly or not at all.  It was taken to another dealer because we suspected the year model was incorrect.  It took the second dealer less than 4 minutes to declare the bakkie a 1987 model. The engine number and chassis number was taken the Nissan agencies and was proven to be an 1987 model. It had been sold as a 1993 model. The original dealer refused to negotiate with me and threatened court action should I persist with my claims. He was offered the print-outs from the agencies computers yet he remained adamant and would not budge. A case of fraud was reported to the police and after several months nothing. The matter was handed over to a legal firm and almost a year later I received a cheque for the difference between a 93’ model and 87’ model. The cops refused to handle the case and told us to sort it out with the dealer. The dealer claimed that he had 25yrs experience in motor car sales etc.  But could not identify the difference between two models of the same car.     

In 2006 I moved to another house in Kimberley. This house had a massive tree planted on the lawn, further killing the lawn. *I decided to purchase an electrical  chain saw.  A Ryobi. The saw worked well for some days then the chain became unstuck causing a dangerous situation.  The flimsy steel cutting chain was stretched beyond its limit. It was returned to the agents who refused to do anything about it. It was then taken to a repair shop where the chain was shortened and sharpened. Back to the agents who told me to go and purchase a new chain at the “korporasie”  We asked for a quote on the new chain and was informed it would cost about R1100. The entire chain saw complete cost about R500  (2006 price). The point here is the agents do not keep spares and refer the client to another agent where a second hand article is repaired. And treated as new. The price of a new article(spare) has escalated well beyond the original price of the whole item. The agents nor the supplier sees their way clear of  exchanging the item which had a warranty attached. The supplier is a national company.      

Some months ago I purchases a “Stramm” cut-off machine. The machine uses a grinding wheel much larger than the standard one for an angle grinder. Supplier had none in stock.  I practically flattened Welkom in search of the correct wheel. (disc) They were found, eventually, at half price, new and in a pawnshop. What is being said is business and companies are only prepared to talk the talk but when it comes to walking the walk and putting spares on their racks then the customer can go to hell.
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