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Consumer Tips

Before making a purchase:

Compare brands and shop around. Ask for word-of-mouth recommendations and look for formal product comparison reports. Compare stores. Look for a store with a good reputation and plan ahead to take advantage of sales. Find out if the company is reputable. Check for any extra charges, such as delivery fees, installation and service charges. It is advisable to have the delivery date specified in writing. Read warranties/guarantees to understand what you must do and what the manufacturer must do if you have a problem. Make sure that a guarantee ruling does exist should the supplier or shop go bankrupt. If not, do not make any payments. Read contract terms carefully. Make sure all blank spaces are filled in before you sign it. Ask the sales person to explain the store's return or exchange policy. Don't assume an item is a bargain just because it is advertised as one. Remember, "Goedkoop koop is duurkoop" (A bad bargain is expensive at a Rand).

After making a purchase:

Read and follow the instructions on how to use the product or service. Keep copies of advertisements, brochures and manuals given to you at the time of purchase. Inspect the product carefully at delivery. Use the product only as recommended by the manufacturers in the instructions. Read and understand the warranty/guarantee. Keep all sales receipts, warranties/guarantees, and instructions. If trouble develops, report the problem as soon as possible. Trying to fix the product yourself may cancel the warranty/guarantee. Keep a file of your efforts to resolve the problem. It should include the names of the individuals to whom you speak and the date, time and outcome of the conversation. Use the complaint procedures in this handbook to find out how and where to get your problem solved. Keep copies of all letters you send and the replies you receive. Note the names of all businesses/people to whom you send copies of your letter. State the model number, serial code and brand name of the product

Taking legal action should be the last resort.
Contracts:

Reviewing

Never sign anything you have not read or do not fully understand. If you can't understand the contract, have your own expert review it.
Never sign a contract if a promoter or retailer will not let you have another person review it first.

Verbal Assurance

Be sure that all verbal promises are included in the written contract.

Signing

Never sign a contract that has blank spaces. Draw lines through them first.
· Be sure to keep a copy of any contract you sign.

Binding

A contract is a binding legal agreement between parties.