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Article by listed attorney: Fawzia Khan

December is traditionally the time of the year when we as consumers, splurge on (often high value) purchases, either on our loved ones or ourselves. The National Credit Act and The Consumer Protection Act are two Acts which will probably dominate and be applicable to many of our transactions. Both these Acts were created to assist us as consumers and it’s certainly worth knowing how we are protected. In the next few series, we will turn the spotlight on some key aspects of the both these Acts so that the next time you whip out your credit card to pay for your purchase, you will hopefully be sufficiently armed with knowledge on your rights and ready to take on any unscrupulous supplier who attempts to deprive you of these rights.  

Right to good quality goods

Only if a consumer is made aware of and has accepted that an item purchased is defective or in a poor condition, can the supplier escape this provision relating the right to receive good quality goods. Apart from this exception, a consumer has the right to buy and receive goods, which are good quality, in good working order and are suitable for their intended purpose or use.

Faulty goods

If the goods are defective, they can be returned within six months of purchase. The supplier can choose whether to replace, repair or offer a refund. If after being repaired a defect appears within a further 3 months, the supplier has no choice but to either replace or refund the product.

Cooling-off period and cancellations from direct marketing

You have five days to “cool off” and cancel any purchase made through direct marketing. You don’t need to offer an explanation nor is the service provider allowed to charge you any penalty for cancellation.

Unsolicited goods

If you received any unsolicited goods, (i.e. those goods which you have not asked for), you can return them to the supplier and the supplier’s expense. If you gave the supplier notice to collect the goods and after 20 working days, the goods are still not collected, and you have the necessary proof of receipt of the notice, you will be allowed to keep the goods.

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