Pathetic After Sales Service: Consumer Waits Two Years to Get the Item Repaired

01/05/2017 16:28

There are businesses that are not customer oriented in the sense that they are not satisfying the customer by meeting their needs through effective after sales service. Complaints related to electronic goods tops the list of complaints received by the Council. Unfortunately most complaints are centered on the after sales service. Consumers don’t understand the importance of after sales service at the time of purchase.

Goods under warranty are taken in for repairs by the companies, however, the duration for these repairs sometimes span from a few months to even a year or two. All this while the consumers continue to make their monthly repayments with the fear of having their accounts going into arrears and ultimately resulting in repossession.

It has also been noted that some goods are either uneconomical for repair as the repair is costly because modification is required because the replacement parts are not available in the market and in some cases replacement parts have become obsolete. Such goods need not be sold in the market in the first place. As a consumer, once you buy a product under warranty, you expect it to get repaired should there be a fault.

It has also been noted that some consumers are not provided the necessary feedback regarding their goods which have gone in for repair. In one case, it has been noted that the item bought was sent for repairs in 2013, however, till today the consumer is yet to receive the item. The consumer was provided a relief item for the duration of the repair which also turned out to be defective.

Upon following up on the status of the repair, an internal investigation was carried out by the trader to locate the item. Unfortunately, the item was not found. Given this, the trader informed the Council that it is an out of warranty case, however, the issue still remains that the item sent for repairs is now missing. After numerous correspondences with the trader on their failure to return the repaired item, the consumer was left with no other option but to take the matter further to the Small Claims Tribunal.

In another case, a consumer purchased a home theatre system from on 22.01.15 in cash for a sum of $899.00. The item become faulty in two weeks and was tendered for repairs on 04.02.15. Luckily he kept all relevant information from the time he purchased the item and when the item was given for repairs.

Unfortunately the consumer waited patiently for 2 years. After receiving the complaint, the Councils investigation revealed that the item was not repaired because the warranty had expired due to staff negligence.

The Council would like to inform the consumers that they should only spend their money in stores that offer good after sales service. Consumers need to evaluate the product/service also on the basis of the “after sales service”.

Consumers can always visit the Council offices in Suva, Lautoka and Labasa or call National Consumer Helpline toll free number 155 to seek advises and lodge a formal complaint.