Saturday, June 14, 2008

African Adventure: SPECIAL DIARY ENTRY: The story of a fan belt and visit to the Police Station.

SPECIAL DIARY ENTRY: The story of a fan belt and visit to the Police

The story of a fan belt, a visit to the Police Station and the mean people at Midas.

I bought a fan belt at the Midas in Maun just before we went into Moremi Park. The belt was just a tiny bit too long so I fitted the spare we had instead and decided to return the belt once we
returned form Moremi Park. Here is the story of returning the belt.

I went back to the Midas and explained to them that the belt was too long. They did not have the next shortest fan belt in stock, so I asked for a refund of my 19 Pula (about $4.2). Although not a huge sum, please remember that our budget now is very small and this is almost a days living expenses for us. I had just bought the belt 3 days ago and it was in new condition and still in its cardboard sleeve so I didn't think it would be a big deal. The manager, smiled at me and said "I'm sorry I can't give you a refund". Somewhat surprised, I asked why not. He said that I had specifically asked for that belt so he could not provide a refund. But why not I asked again, I just bought it 3 days ago, and you don't have the next shortest belt. I then said, "but I didn't ask for that belt, I asked for one you did not have and you promised me it was an equivalent". It is he said, look. He then got out the fan belt measurer, put the
belt on and in fact it was not an exact equivalent, it measured slightly longer than the belt I wanted. See I said, is too long. It's close enough he said, you still can't have a refund and again gave me a smug smile as if to say, I have your money and there is not a thing you can do about it. That really bugged me. So I left the store and told him I would be back. I was now determined not to just lay down and do nothing.

I got back to the Landy and told Aaron what had happened and that we had to go to the Police Station to see if they could help. The Police were incredibly friendly and told me I needed to go to Consumer Affairs. They even drove there so we could follow and not get lost. Fortunately the Consumer Affairs Office was right next to the Midas! I went in and explained my situation to another very nice official called Jingle. He was appalled and had me fill out an
official report. He then phoned the Midas. After quoting them the law, they agreed to refund me. Just to make sure, Jingle came with me. It's just as well, because I don't think the Midas guy had any intention of refunding me. Jingle then sat down and again explained the law. After about 20 mins, the owner said he would refund me, but the refund had to come from the headoffice. He sent one of his workers out to get the refund so Jingle and I just had to wait.
Jingle asked why he couldn't just give me the refund form the till. The manager claimed he couldn't. Jingle then asked the manager to give it to me from his pocket and he could then just keep the refund the worker would bring back. The manager explained that he did not have P19.

After about 20 mins the worker returned and I was refunded my P19. Thank you for your help Jingle. I should point out that the Midas guy was not a Botswanan.

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