Case closed on faulty windows

Dilldar Parker of Grassy Park said Royal Cape Glass and Aluminium supplied and fitted two windows for him in January 2016 but they did not close properly.

“I told Ismail Patel, the owner of Royal Cape Glass and Aluminium in Wetton, and he said he would fix it but he didn’t,” Mr Parker said.

“I visited their premises on several occasions and called them umpteen times to complain since February (2016). Apart from one or two visits by their workmen, to make adjustments, which were unsuccessful, nothing has been done since. Mr Patel has been making promises but to no avail. The problem is a gap of 3mm to 5mm between the windows and the frames at several places,” Mr Parker explained.

The job cost R5 800 of which R3 500 was paid upfront and the balance on completion.
When Mr Parker told me his sorry tale last year I suggested he first contact the Master Builders Federation (MBF) and the Consumer Protector (CP) in Cape Town – which he did.

The MBF couldn’t help because Royal Cape Glass and Aluminium wasn’t a member.

The CP sent Mr Patel a letter in December 16 but got no response. Then on January 17 they wrote to him again and he agreed to do the repairs on January 31. But Mr Patel didn’t honour his undertaking.

The CP then carried out an on-site inspection in February and Mr Patel agreed to be at Mr Parker’s house on February 9 to do the repairs.

However, Mr Parker told the CP that Mr Patel failed to honour the settlement order and they advised him that there was little chance of a resolution and suggested he go to the small claims court. The case was set for Thursday March 1.

When Mr Parker told me the CP was unable to help and sent me their report, I called Mr Patel. He replied, “ Yes, I spoke to Mr Parker earlier and I am meeting with him today (February 28) after 5pm at his place.

“I really want to sort this matter out once and for all as it’s something very small that did not need to turn out this way.”

Well, that’s Mr Patel’s opinion: Mr Parker thought it was serious enough to go to the small claims court. “I also asked Mr Parker if we could leave this matter out of the newspapers and he said as long as I rectify his windows then it should be okay, hence me going to meet with him today.”

Again, I need to stress that it is my decision whether to publish the story or not. Not the complainant’s or the business’s.
Sometimes people only react when there is a threat of bad publicity or their reputation is at stake. And mainly it is their own doing that they are often cast in a bad light.

Mr Patel did go to Mr Parker’s home. “I am happy to report that Royal Cape Glass and Aluminium has done the repairs to my windows satisfactorily. I heartily thank you for your intervention. It was a great wake-up call for Ismail Patel,” Mr Parker said.

Mr Patel told me later. “All has been rectified at Mr Parker’s residence: he is extremely pleased with the outcome and he said he was going to make contact with you as well.”

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) is concerned about the rising number of consumers who pawn their motor vehicles so they can get loans.

“Although pawning of assets for loans is allowed under the National Credit Act (NCA), the NCR cautions consumers against pawning their motor vehicles as they could lose them to pawn brokers if they are unable to repay the loans within the agreed time,” said Nthupang Magolego, senior legal advisor at the NCR.

The NCA allows the pawn broker to keep the consumer’s pawned asset as security and to return it once the loan is repaid. Otherwise the pawn broker can sell the asset and use the proceeds to settle the loan.

“Consumers are advised to read the pawn broker’s credit agreement carefully to avoid signing contracts that transfer ownership of their pawned assets to pawn brokers before they default.

“The pawned asset only serves as security for the loan and can only be sold if the consumer has not paid back the loan,” Mr Magolego said.

The pawn broker keeps the pawned asset at its own risk.

“Over and above the loan that consumers must pay back, some pawn brokers also add storage charges, which is illegal and results in very expensive loans,” Mr Magolego explained.

A pawn transaction is a short-term credit transaction under the NCA. The interest which the pawn broker can charge is limited to five percent a month on the first loan and three percent a month on subsequent loans in one calendar year.

“Pawning assets for loans should ideally be used for small amounts of loans, where small assets such as cellphones, laptops or similar assets are pawned,” said Mr Magolego.

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