The aim of this episode is to expose unscrupulous and unfair business practises by a furniture dealer. Speak Out investigates as Miss Sibisi’s right to fair advertising and direct marketing was violated.
Ms. Phyllis Sibisi is a resident of 421 B Phiri Phiri Street in Zone 4 Meadowlands, Soweto who works as an account manager at Sasol in Moderfontein. She is married and is mother to two children aged 21 and 16 years. Phyllis decided to purchase a new bed for her and her husband. As a loyal Geen & Richards customer, there was no question about which outlet she would seek to purchase the bed at.
She duly went to the Southgate Mall Branch of the aforementioned store to purchase the required bed. There to serve her was regular was her regular salesperson, Sonnyboy, to whom she explained that she needed a good quality bed as she did not want to purchase a bed in the next 5-10 years. Sonnyboy then recommended Forty Winks, as the brand she was looking for, more since if she was experienced any problems, the brand’s supplier, Sleep World, would replace it with a new bed. Sonnyboy also assured her that Gene & Richards have a three years guarantee and 15 year warranty for their beds.
Convinced, Ms. Sibisi purchased atop of the range Forty Winks bed, and paid in cash. Lo and behold, in spite of all the positive virtues that were extolled about this apparently wonder-bed, within six-months its mattress had collapsed on the side. She contacted Sonnyboy and informed him of the strange developments with the bed.
Two-and-a half years later, Ms. Sibisi suddenly got a call from Sleep World promising to replace the bed. When they eventually did, they only delivered the base of the bed promising to deliver the mattress the next day amid lack of communication from the supplier. A week passed without them delivering the mattress. However, Thokozani who had been delivering the bed said the company would only replace the mattress after Ms. Sibisi paid for the fabric that covers the mattress as it had been stained.
Ms. Sibisi then decided to call Sleep World, and spoke to a lady by the name of Desire, who said they were not willing to replace the as it was stained. Ms. Sibisi then retorted that the alleged stains were not the primary point of contention as they did not cause the bed to grow the mysterious bump, and that surely she could not be expected to pay R10 K for a mattress that collapsed after within a year. The matter remains unresolved and what Ms Sibisi wants is a new bed, or furniture from the shop to the value of the bed she purchased.
Speak Out Expert
Consumer Goods and Service Ombudsman