I just read Nadine Rose Larter’s post titled “Don’t let the bed bugs bite” which is about her experience with Joshua Doore buying a bed and I am furious. I don’t even deal with Joshua Doore but reading her post, I am disgusted that such a large chain operates this way.
Nadine’s post begins with the following and rapidly goes downhill in terms of how she was treated:
It’s hard to know where to even start with a complaint such as the one I would like to put forward. I keep thinking that I should just leave it alone and “get over it” because that’s just the way it is, but I do also feel that apathy could play quite a huge part in the downfall of this country. And so I feel I should speak up.
My problem is this: Recently I bought a bed from the Greenacres, Port Elizabeth branch of Joshua Doore.
You have to read this post to believe it but here is a little summary of what Joshua Doore did:
- JD misled Nadine in its ads by stating that interest on a credit sale would be 10%, her agreement states 22%;
- Nadine was told that it would cost R250 to deliver her bed, she was charged R410;
- She had her privacy invaded by a clueless employee going through her bank statements, not even knowing what she was looking for;
- Nadine was automatically charged for insurance when it wasn’t requested and had to deal with a faulty fax machine to deliver proof that she had her own insurance (why should she have to have any insurance if she chose not to insure the bed?);
- Nadine was charged almost R600 for 4 bottles of Masterguard she didn’t request when only 1 bottle was actually used and she had to ask for the remaining 3 bottles to get them from Joshua Doore (sounds like a fraudulent scheme to me);
- Delivery was supposed to be 3 days, it took a week; and
- Rather than being tied into a 12 month credit agreement (which Nadine insisted on when a longer term at triple the advertised price over the 3 year term Joshua Doore tried to rope her into), Nadine was still tied into a 3 year credit agreement (the bed was advertised at R4 000 and would cost her over R12 000 over the 3 year term, about R7 000 over a year).
It gets better. When Nadine eventually received this bed (I would have walked out of the store at the beginning if I had to deal with the staff she dealt with), she got a little surprise:
And would you like to know what my REAL problem is? The bed I bought has some sort of mite infestation. I have no idea what to do about this. There is certainly no reason for me to think that anyone at Joshua Doore is actually going to care that they have sold me a bed that has something weird in it. I can’t even identify what these things are because they are so small but we can feel them biting us and both of us wake up with welts all over our bodies in the morning.
I see that Nadine tweeted a little earlier that Joshua Doore delivered a new bed to her. Nadine is far more patient than me. I would have lost it with them a long time ago. Just delivering the bed isn’t good enough. Joshua Doore’s staff have defrauded her, tied her into a hideously expensive credit agreement she didn’t agree to in the first place and basically took every opportunity to mistreat her as a consumer. They behaved disgustingly.
It gets worse. Consider Joshua Doore’s typical customer and how many people Joshua Doore must be screwing over on a daily basis. The more I think about it the more furious I become. We are accustomed to brands doing stupid things and we tweet about it and rage about it on Facebook but those stupid things don’t compare to what Nadine went through. These sorts of practices are why we have the Consumer Protection Act and the National Credit Act.
Oh, by the way, these are Joshua Doore’s values on its website:
- Unbelievable Value: Your Uncle says, “I buy in bulk so you can save!”
- Nothing But The Best: Your Uncle says, “I want you to have the best, so that’s all I stock!”
- Customer Service: Your Uncle says, “Nothing’s too much trouble for my customers.”
- Low Monthly Payments: Your uncle says, “I’ll help you to afford what you want with up to 36 months to pay!”
- Enormous Range: Your Uncle says, “There’s something for everyone!”
If you have also been a victim of this sort of treatment by Joshua Doore or any other retailer, take them on. Lodge complaints. The National Consumer Commissioner, in particular, is active and apparently pretty effective.
- The National Consumer Commission’s website is at http://www.nccsa.org.za/ and they have an online complaint submission form at http://www.nccsa.org.za/index.php/complaint-form.html?view=rsform (paste your whole story and keep copies of all the docs handy). They used misleading advertising, charged you more than they said they would and you agreed to and delivered a bed unfit for use.
- The National Credit Regulator handles credit agreements and its website is at http://www.ncr.org.za/.