Blocked on WhatsApp and heart broken? You still have to pay up, says South African consumer watchdog

The Consumer Goods and Services Ombudsman (CGSO) has released its latest report for 2018.

A key focus in the report is the common traps that consumers fall into.

In one such instant, a complainant advised that she met an agent of the supplier on a dating site, explained the CGSO.

“The parties decided to exchange numbers and keep in contact. The complainant was later advised by the agent that he was interested in meeting her.”

“The complainant met the agent at the gym, and resulted in the complainant signing a one-year contract with the supplier. The complainant paid the entire 12-month contract upfront.”

However, no sooner had the complainant concluded the deal with the supplier, the agent cut all contact with the complainant and blocked her on WhatsApp.

Following this the complainant said that she wished to cancel the agreement and requested a full refund from the supplier.

The supplier’s response was that the complainant is free to cancel the agreement at any time and the supplier will levy a reasonable cancellation fee, in accordance of section 14 of the Consumer Protection Act.

As the complainant entered into a valid agreement with the hope of pursuing her love interests, she is bound by the agreement unless she pays a cancellation fee, the CGSO said.

“In this matter the supplier charged the complaint a cancellation fee of one-month and refunded the amount already paid for the rest of the year.”

It further warned that consumers should never make emotional decisions when entering into an agreement.

“They are binding and if things do not work out as planed you will be held liable in terms of such agreement,” it said.


Read: The new ‘laptop’ complaint you need to know before buying any electronic device in South Africa

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Blocked on WhatsApp and heart broken? You still have to pay up, says South African consumer watchdog