25
Jan '18

Perhaps somebody owes you money and will not pay it back?

Maybe someone damaged your property; your car or other property and refuses to fix it at their cost?

You could always sue them in a court, but that takes time and normally costs a lot of money

25
Jan '18

The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008: (CPA): Section 56 (2): Recap:

We have recently looked at the implied warranty on the quality of goods guaranteed by the CPA and more particularly section 55 & 56 of that Act of Parliament.

There is still a lot of confusion about the Consumer’s Right to choose a Repair, Replacement or Refund in respect of Damaged or Defective Goods as guaranteed by these sections of the Act.

As we all know by now the Consumer Protection Act (CP Act) came into operation at midnight on the 31st March 2011.

Section 56 (2) of the Consumer Protection Act, No 68 of 2008 reads as follows:

“Within six months after the delivery of any goods to a consumer, the consumer may return the goods to the supplier, without penalty, and at the supplier’s risk and expense, if the goods fail to satisfy the requirements and standards contemplated in section 55 (Consumers rights to safe, good quality goods) and the supplier must, at the direction of the consumer, either:

  1. Repair or replace the failed, unsafe or defective goods, or
  2. Refund to the consumer the price paid by the consumer for the goods.”

That seems pretty straight forward; and to a very large extent self-explanatory.

Why then do so many suppliers duck and dive; and attempt to avoid their legal obligations to the consumer and their customers. The answer to this question is that it is a nuisance to a supplier and they need to take time out; and incur cost; in repairing, replacing or refunding a consumer for an item that they have already sold to them. Things were far too comfortable for suppliers before the advent of the Consumer Protection Act as they, in the past, would simply tell us that it was not their problem once we had taken delivery of an item and paid for it.

One has to remember that the provisions of this Act and these sections do not cover private individuals as sellers; as they are not suppliers or service providers conducting their sale in the ordinary course of business. In short the act does not cover private sales. Your remedies in the case of private sales lie in the common law of contract.

One has to look at the definition of “a consumer” and “a supplier; in order to get confirmation that private sales are not covered by these provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.”

Section 1 is the definition section of the Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008.

In section 1; “a consumer’ is defined in great detail. It will suffice for our purposes here to simply quote from part of the full definition: “A consumer means a person to whom those particular goods or services are marketed in the ordinary course of the supplier’s business.” The section then goes on to give a more comprehensive detailed definition which it is not necessary to dissect here but the definition of a consumer is very wide and includes just about anyone buying an item from someone else who is conducting a business enterprise in selling amongst other things that particular item/items.

One also has to look at the definition of “a supplier” for clarity here.

Section 1 also defines “a supplier” which means: “A person who markets any goods or services.”

This is also a very wide definition.

As a consequence, the Consumer Protection Act covers both goods and services provided by a supplier to a consumer.

It does not apply to private sales as although all buyers are consumers as defined in the Act; the sellers however are not suppliers; as they do not sell their items in the ordinary course of a business enterprise; but only occasionally on a once off basis. Clearly there may be exceptions to this rule; eg someone who is not a dealer but runs a business selling second hand cars in his spare time. He may well then be a supplier as defined in the Act although not a registered car dealer.

The Consumer Protection Act applies to all unsafe, damaged and defective goods; provided they are bought from a supplier acting in the ordinary course of his business.

As a consumer of both goods and services our section 56(2) choice, as consumers, of “repair, refund or replace” in respect of damaged or defective goods is in addition to; and over and above the manufacturer’s warranty; and also in addition to, and over and above, any common law remedies that we may have; for example; where latent defects were deliberately not disclosed to us by a supplier.

You, as a consumer could very well then have three separate potential claims available to you in a dispute with a supplier. These claims could be in terms of the CP Act, a common law remedy and/or in terms of a manufacturer’s warranty; provided that that dispute relates to unsafe, damaged or defective goods or services.

In our next blog we will look at the implied warranty on repaired items as contained in section 56(3) of the Consumer Protection Act.

Please visit our website at www.legaladviceoffice.co.za for more detail or send us an email with you queries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will revert within 48 hours.

Should you have any queries please contact our offices in that regard.

Should you otherwise wish to comment on this or any other legal topic; please also just send us an e-mail; and we will respond.

Thank you.

The Legal Advice Office Team.

25
Jan '18

At The Legal Advice Office; we get many enquiries every single week from clients and consumers about whether, when and how they can go about returning faulty or damages goods that they have bought from a supplier.

25
Jan '18

How does the Common Law protect you in these circumstances and

How does the Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA) protect you?

What do you need to do and what are the guidelines in this situation?

25
Jan '18

In our previous two blogs we looked at the choices a consumer has if he purchases a defective of a damaged item; especially related to motor vehicles.

What we call the three R’s ie the choice is repair, replacement or a refund.

25
Jan '18

In our last blog, we looked at then are entitled to a refund in respect of defective or damaged goods.

If the item you purchased is defective or damaged you are generally speaking entitled to either a repair, as a replacement or a refund.

The situation is however entirely different if there is nothing wrong with the item purchased from the supplier; as with an enquiry we had this morning from a lady who had purchased items online and then found that they were not exactly what she had intended to buy. There was however nothing wrong with the items themselves.

25
Jan '18

When are you as a consumer entitled to a refund?  The Consumer Protection Act: No 68 of 2008 (CPA): Refunds:

We often get asked about refunds due to consumers in terms of the CPA or the common law.

As a result of yet another two enquiries today; which both dealt with a refund in respect of a defective and danged motor vehicle bought by a client, we believe that we need to explain this issue again today.

25
Jan '18

We are all aware by now the implied statutory warranty on the quality of goods guaranteed by the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and more particularly sections 55 & 56) of that Act.

There is still, however, a lot of confusion about the Consumer’s Right to choose a Repair, Replacement or Refund in respect of Damaged or Defective Goods as guaranteed by these sections of the Act.

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Legal Advice Office

South Africa

Kandelaar Street, Vermont, Hermanus
Phone: +27 (028) 316 2832
Email: info@legaladviceoffice.co.za

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