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WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15603
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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I bought chairs from a certain company in August 2013 and they

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I bought chairs from a certain company in August 2013 and they are not supplying the chairs. Initially they indicated that they are still manufacturing the chairs but kept on postponing the delivery date. I have already paid the full amount. What recourse do I have from the law to force the company to either deliver the chairs or refund me the money.
Good day and thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try and assist you today.

In order to provide you with the most accurate answer, I may have to ask you a lot of questions. This may seem tedious and irrelevant, but trust me, there is a reason for every question. So please be patient throughout the process and if it takes a little long for me to come back to you, it is probably because I am researching your answer. I hope that is okay.

Was there a specific delivery date agreed to by the supplier?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It was three weeks after payment and now its five weeks after payment. Went to his factory and nothing done yet for my chairs.

Have you requested a refund yet? Did he refuse?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Not yet asked for a refund but came across other three complainants who said they are also in the same situation and the supplier is claiming that he is facing cash flow problems

What is the amount that you have paid him?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

R40 000 and its the full amount for 250 chairs

Is this on behalf of a business or for yourself? If the former, does this business have a combined turnover and/or asset value of over R 2 million?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Its for a church and its value of assets are less than R2 million. The church is based in Zimbabwe but was buying the chairs on their behalf since I am a member of the church and reside here

When you accepted the quotes and dealt with the supplier, did you indicate to him that you are buying in a representative capacity? Who paid for the chairs? You, with a view of collecting it from the church later on, or did the church pay.

Sorry for the questions, but I am trying to establish whether we can use the Consumer Protection Act.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I looked for the supplier and was discussing the quotation with him. Payment came directly from the church' bank account in Zimbabwe into the seller's bank account here in South Africa. The seller knew that I am representing the church

I cannot find anything in the Consumer Protection Act that excludes consumers from abroad from the operation of the Act. It seems that, as long as the transaction occurred within the boundaries of the RSA and other exclusions does not apply, then the CPA is applicable. From the information that you have provided, it seems that no other exclusions apply either.

The CPA says the following in section 19(6):

(6) If the supplier tenders the delivery of goods or the performance of any services at a location, on a date or at a time other than as agreed with the consumer, the consumer may either—
(a)accept the delivery or performance at that location, date and time;
(b)require the delivery or performance at the agreed location, date and time, if that date and time have not yet passed; or
(c)cancel the agreement without penalty, treating any delivered goods or performed services as unsolicited goods or services in accordance with section 21.

So, you would be within your rights to cancel the agreement and require a full refund.

There are two institutions that you can approach with a view to obtaining an order that you can use to enforce the refund if he does not want to do so voluntarily.

The first is the National Consumer Commission. They are, however, pretty slow, but would not cost you anything in the line of legal fees.

The second is the Magistrates Court. If you can somehow get him to acknowledge that he owes you (or the church) the refund and agree a time within which to pay it, then it should not take a long time, nor cost a lot of money to get judgment against him in a court.

Unfortunately, for the second option, an attorney is advisable. A directory of attorneys exist at where you can look for a litigation/collections attorney.

I hope I have answered all of your questions and addressed all your concerns, but if you have follow up questions before you rate, feel free to ask them at no extra cost. If you are satisfied with the service, kindly rate it positively.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

1) How much do the attorneys costs on average per hour

2) Do I need to report to a police station first before approaching the attorneys

3) Can I go to the court and sue with costs

1. It is not possible for me to say that. I simply do not possess the data.

2. The SAPD is only going to tell you that it is not a criminal matter and refer you to an attorney.

3. Yes. Normally, a portion of the costs of the winning party is paid by the losing party. But before you go to court or find an attorney, write him a letter wherein you state that it is now so many days since the agreed delivery date and that you wish to cancel your order in terms of section 19 of the Consumer Protection Act.

Tell him that you request a refund within 14 days and if that does not happen, that you will find an attorney to instigate legal action against him and claim your legal costs from him.

See what happens first. It may very well be that there would be no need to proceed to civil court. He may very well decide to pay.
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