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What Is Your Consumer Rights In South Africa

A major part of South Africa’s economic growth is increasing the amount consumers’ as well as the amount of consumer spending that happens annually within the country. When consumers spend on goods and services they drive up production and facilitate growth in a range of sectors and are the machine that keeps the countries economy moving forward.

Consumers need to be treasured by businesses and sales need to be won over on merit but as greed and shortcuts come in to play consumer rights can be violated in order to make a quick buck. Which is why consumers need to know their rights in order to protect themselves from exploitation.

Building trust with consumers

In order for businesses to take advantage of consumers spending and advocate for some of their disposable income, they need to build trust with the consumer in order to become the consumer’s preferred product or service providers.

Consumers have the right to be offered quality service or products and should not be exploited to let their hard-earned money go to waste.

Customers should, therefore, be protected and valued at all times.

According to the National Credit Regulator (NCR), consumers have rights in terms of the National Credit Act (NCA) to:

•    Apply for credit.
•    Know why credit was declined.
•    Receive information and documentation in their preferred official language.
•    Receive information and documentation in simple and clear language.
•    Get documentation in their preferred delivery manner.
•    Receive statements without charge.
•    Receive their free credit report once a year from a registered Credit Bureau, and if evidence is available, question/dispute incorrect information.
•    Privacy.
•    Apply for debt review/management/counselling.

When applying for credit, it is important to shop around for the best terms and rates available that will suit your budget. You should receive a quotation before any credit agreement is accepted. Finally, once the quotation is received, should clearly disclose the fees and instalments involved.

If you’re still unclear on how this process works then here are a few examples that you need to be aware of when applying for certain credit:

Buying a Vehicle

Mrs. X wants to buy a car and applies for credit. Unfortunately, her application for credit has been declined. She has the right to inquire why her application has not been accepted and is informed via the credit provider that her credit profile is in a bad state. She disagrees with the given feedback because she knows she is in a position to get financing for a car. Mrs. X’s dispute (together with evidence provided) has been logged at the credit bureau and within 20 days receives feedback that the mistake on her profile has been corrected. She can now apply for credit again.

Taking out a Personal Loan

Mr. Y has the right to ask for a quotation when applying for a personal loan. The credit provider has to disclose all the fees, instalments and necessary terms involved. Mr. Y, therefore, needs to ask for the credit agreement (free of charge) to also see what the credit life instalment entails, for example. He has the right to take a look at the credit life premium and can also decide to choose his own credit life insurance provider.

Manage your debt effectively

If you still need help with your savings and you’re feeling overwhelmed by your current financial situation, feel free to contact us. To Speak to one our consultants about debt review contact us here.

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