Respect for the CPA, kudos Cape Union Mart pavilion

Posted on March 3, 2012

I have had a TomTom Go Live 1000 for the last 3 months or so, and it has worked really well. Whenever I am driving around Johannesburg I am most grateful for the ability to see what is going on in the traffic and have the GPS direct me around problems, saving me time and aggravation.

In the last week the device has started giving problems. It won’t charge properly and keeps restarting (every 5 to 15 minutes) which is a real pain when it is directing you on a route you don’t know. Further, with the lack of charge it wouldn’t connect to the cell network so there were no traffic updates, making the device rather useless.

I had bought the device at Cape Union Mart at Canal Walk in Cape Town. The Pavilion branch in Westville, Durban is closest to my house so I went there this morning to try to sort out the problem. The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) makes it quite clear, faulty in the first six months the consumer gets the choice of Refund, Replacement or Repair. That’s the theory anyhow, in practice it seems to seldom work out that way.

I went into the store, explained the problem and the guy behind the counter was helpful to a point. He first implied that the “top of the range” device had a common fault and lots of people were having the same problem, and that TomTom had withdrawn it and were replacing it with a new model, cold comfort. He then explained the process of getting it replaced, which involved phoning TomTom (they aren’t open on weekends), getting a reference number, then coming back to the store, waiting for a replacement etc. It sounded like a long drawn out process and wasn’t going to work well for me given my travels and work schedule. He tried to call a branch in Jhb to set it up so I could do the swap there, but didn’t have a lot of luck with getting assurances the process would be smooth and work.

At this point I reminded him of my CPA rights and requested a refund as I could then just go buy another device elsewhere and bypass all of this problem (as well as extend my warranty by another 3 months). He took this well, and then offered to swap it with (a new one) they had in the back of the store somewhere. I agreed and left a few minutes later with the new device. Why he didn’t offer this when we first started the process I don’t know, but I was still happy with the outcome.

Thanks to Cape Union Mart for respecting the CPA, even if you did need a little coaxing and reminding. Don’t forget your rights, you can have a successful outcome to other painful situations if you just remind the service providers of your rights.


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Categories: Consumer Protection Act, Gadgets, Praise

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