CONSUMER WATCH

Glenda Thompson

Thanks to our August sponsor: Rest Assured and Cloud Nine for anchoring the show this month!  They really are the Kings and Queens of a good night’s sleep and you can find them at the following retailers around the North Coast:  Bed Boyz, Hirsch’s and Sleep King.  All of them have fantastic SPRING specials on their beds, so … spring down to one of those stores this weekend to find the bed of your dreams!

Thank you all, for your continued support and for all your consumer related enquiries, following on from the Consumer Watch Show ever Friday at 12.30, and from the bi-monthly column.  I have had such a variety of requests and queries, and have summarized some of them in this week’s column.

THE CPA – PROTECTING PROPERTY BUYERS.

I’ve had mails from a few people complaining that the property they purchased did not meet up to their expectations and they felt that the agent withheld certain information from them.
On the property front, “Voestoots” used to protect sellers from the onerous responsibility of providing comprehensive information to the buyer regarding the condition of a property. Under the CPA the estate agent will be responsible for making detailed enquiries regarding the condition of the property and to disclose those defects that they are aware of.  If not, buyers will have legal recourse and be able to claim compensation.
Many consumers do not fully understand the legal jargon involved in contracts and agreements.  They also don’t feel comfortable at the point of purchase to ask questions or make changes, and often sign something with little or no changes made – to their detriment.  Under the CPA, estate agents will be obliged to use plain and understandable language in their agreements and ensure that consumers have a clear understanding of the legal implications before signing.

SEVERAL PEOPLE HAVE ASKED WHAT THEY SHOULD DO WITH REGARD TO SIMPLE PLUMBING ISSUES…. SO LET’S … GO DOWN THE DRAIN! 

I have spoken to the experts and this is what they came up with on common problems…
Blocked drains.  If it is the sink that is blocked, use a household plunger. It really depends on the extent of the blockage and what has caused the blockage. More often than not, you will require a plumber as there is a reason for the blockage (incorrect fall, sand, roots, collapsed or broken pipes, building rubble.) This will require drain rods, high pressure jetting and possibly CCTV footage in order to resolve the problem.

Plumbing maintenance tips. A lot of people complain about low pressure or even no pressure in certain parts of the house.  First thing to do:  check out all the filters and strainers for any sand or sediment build up. It may also be time to fit a new pressure control valve if the cleaning doesn’t do the trick. The average person with a bit of DIY savvy can do it themselves.

Please remember that if you have anything that you would like aired on the show to drop me a line!
Please keep those queries coming through!  Contact me on gjthomo@gmail.com
Remember that if you have any complicated queries – especially those bordering on the legal side –  go straight to the Consumer Council  – KZN Consumer Complaints Hotline number: 0800 333 667 which is a free service to the public.
Listen out for the Consumer Watch Show on Life and Style Radio. 88.0 FM at 12.30 every Friday!

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