Do business with integrity01/08/2012 17:17
There is nothing wrong in selling ‘Home Brand or In-House “ products as long as the hire purchase industry adheres to ‘standards’ and does not compromise ‘quality’.
Reacting to statements from Courts and Morris Hedstrom, who dominate the country’s hire purchase industry, the Council reaffirms its stand that consumers must not be cheated and misled in return for their money.
We reiterate that home brand or in-house branded products must have a quality standard and a proper back up service available which consumers can easily access when the products start showing problems.
Brands like Akita and Infinity are certainly cheaper but what is the life of these products?
Because at the end of the day, the consumers who buy these products belong to the middle-class or are from the group living a little above the poverty line which means these people cannot keep buying the electrical products every three years.
The Council is simply dismayed to note that some of the products sold by the hire purchase companies just don’t have the spare-parts available to repair the products which they bring into the market.
This is absurd because there have been instances when consumers have been told to wait for the spare parts to be brought or there are no parts available at all.
One glaring example is availability of the R600A gas used in Akita brand fridge.
This gas is banned globally, now, from consumers’ perspective, what happens to those consumers who own the Akita fridge model which has R600A gas and when there is a gas leakage and situation demands a refill, what happens then?
In such a scenario, the fridge will be useless and the consumer will be helpless.
We have been receiving cases and its some other brand as such and in one instance, a woman spent $299 on an electric wok which started showing problems after a year’s use. when she asked for the item to be repaired, she was told parts were not available and will take a while because it has to be ordered.
This is just unacceptable because if you are selling these products then the traders must have a robust back-up service in place.
The other delusion is that these brands are ‘energy savers’.
We ask the consumers to check for themselves – whether this is a myth or a reality.
Take for instance, Akita brand fridge, the label on the door of the fridge - shows that the rating can be checked at www.energygov.au but checks on this website produces no results.
The Council is not asking the hire purchase companies to stop selling these home brands but to sell them with integrity.
They must admit to the consumers that these are clones or counterfeit brands and ensure they have back up service available to repair the products so an average consumer does not have sleepless nights pondering over his hard-earned cash going down the drain just because the products become irreparable due to the unavailability of the back-up service.
The Council will stand for quality and standard and not allow it to be compromised.