Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Woolworths - the plus and the minus

Dear Consumers,
         Every business makes mistakes, but the real test is how they handle them. 

Well done Woolworths
        Woolworths came up trumps after initially refusing to give a cash refund for a pair of shorts that was returned to the Long Beach Mall branch in Cape Town.
It had very distinctive buttons on the pockets that were more decorative than functional and one came off after just two months.
         The branch issued a R275 gift card, but after an email to Chief Executive Ian Moir, Anita Scott the Customer Manager (my apologies for not using her full title but that would take up a couple of paragraphs) took over.
        She apologised for the poor quality of the shorts and for the store not refunding correctly.
       We always refund the customer in the manner in which they have purchased, within the given time period, which is printed on our slips. If our customers do not have a till slip we would often refund using our gift card, however if the return is due to poor quality we would refund the customer in the manner in which they say they paid. In this case it should have been cash.
        She added that she had spoken to the store manager Silvia Bezuidenhout to ensure the staff followed this policy and that the manager would arrange for the required refund.
         She said their refund policy was very much in line with the Consumer Act.  I should hope so. But is it?
         Woolworths says it will exchange or refund any item returned in a saleable condition with a till slip within 60 days of purchase.
What’s meant by a saleable condition? If I bought something, wore it for a few weeks and then washed and ironed it would it qualify as saleable? And would somebody else be happy to buy it then?
        The group’s policy goes on to say that if you do not have a slip we will exchange your purchase at the current system price.
        So it’s clearly better not to have a slip.
        Unless I got it wrong the Act says that in stores buyers are entitled to a refund for faulty goods within six months of the date of purchase, not two months as stipulated in the Woolworths Decree.

Of course only the South African Government could come up with such a ridiculous law. It will enable Clever Dicks to go on getting something replaced new every six months forever.

           And what’s more the buyer can decide whether to accept cash; a replacement or a repair.
There doesn’t seem to be any provision for handing out Woolworths like gift cards, which of course ensures that the money spent returns to the shop.
         Jon, the Consumer Watchdog with a strong sense of smell. 
Buy my book ‘Where have all the children gone’ on   It’s a thriller with an underlying love story that defied generations of Afrikaner/English prejudice.       

No comments:

Post a Comment