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FILE PHOTO -  The logo of Hyundai Motor is seen on a wheel of a car at a Hyundai dealership in Seoul

Who the heck is George? - Glass fitment centre hands car keys to mystery man

Companies, or rather the people who work for them, make mistakes - it's human and it's inevitable, and no one should expect them to get everything right all the time.

The trouble with the RAF - One road accident victim shares her struggle to get her pay-out

It’s been almost six years since “Gugu’s” body was crushed in a car accident‚ leaving her with a limp.

Oops! Our crash, your problem

Tony Kinsey of Durban had had his brand-new SUV for just three weeks when, late last month, he sent it back to the dealership to have some minor cosmetic issues sorted out.

Surprise! Your meal is on us – How a restaurant made tired mom’s day

And now for a feel-good South African restaurant bill story…

Left in the lurch over visas

For South Africans with children, siblings and cousins who have emigrated, visiting them is a very costly exercise indeed, given the price of air tickets and the devalued rand.

Kuga: Ford CE Jeff Nemeth beating out the flames

Ford SA has finally gone some way to acknowledging its failure to warn its Kuga 1.6 model customers about the risk of the vehicle overheating and catching alight‚ despite knowing about many such cases.

Ford Kuga sales drop by 50%

Ford Kuga SA sales plummeted by 50% in January compared to the previous month as consumer outrage grew over continuing reports of the family SUV’s catching on fire.

Kuga-on-fire moves to New Zealand

While Ford Kugas were going up in flames on South African roads in December‚ at least one New Zealand Kuga owner has had the same experience.

BREAKING NEWS: Road Accident Fund's bank account attached, payouts frozen

“Sorry‚ you can’t be paid - our bank account has been attached by the Sheriff of the Court.”

Why no cure for wrap rage?

Is it really that hard to design a six-pack of long-life milk that won't rip apart before you can get it from the shelf to the kitchen? It would appear so.

One or two vehicles catching fire not unusual‚ but almost 50 … it’s crazy’ – says ombud

“Ford must act - now!” said Motor Industry Ombud Johan van Vreden on Monday.
In Your Corner with Wendy Knowler
Go get groceries yourself instead of having them delivered to keep moving.

It pays to be vigilant

What if you spot your favourite coffee marked at a good price at the shelf, but scans at R8 more at the till? Can you demand the shelf price?

Safety deposit box plunder – the questions FNB won’t answer

Is the theft of so-called safety deposit boxes from banks as rare an occurrence as the industry would have us believe?

Clearing up the return law

Happy new year, dear readers.

Ford still dodging burning issue of a Kuga recall

The video clip posted on Facebook by Maria Daniels of Port Elizabeth at the weekend of her Ford Kuga on fire was more alarming than all the other burning Kuga videos and photos on social media.

Time hasn't healed the pain for family of deadly Ford Kuga fire victim

Kaveen Jimmy still has the voicemail message his brother Reshall left on his cellphone about 15 minutes before he burnt to death in his Ford Kuga on the night of December 4 last year.

Safety deposit box plunder – the questions FNB won’t answer

Is the theft of so-called safety deposit boxes from banks as rare an occurrence as the industry would have us believe?
Go get groceries yourself instead of having them delivered to keep moving.

Waste not, want not - that expired food is far from rotten

A widely-held belief that food becomes “off”, rotten or a food poisoning risk the day after its “expiry date” has consumers around the world throwing away huge amounts of perfectly safe, edible food.

Have you been wowed by good service lately?

Every now and then a reader brightens my rather depressing inbox with a story of exceptional customer service, and since this is the season of good cheer, I’m going to share one of them.

A lay-by law unto themselves

My report earlier this week on Nosiphiwe Ngcungama’s unfortunate lay-by experience with a Port Shepstone clothing store came just in time for a Jo’burg resident who’d been told he couldn’t cancel his lay-by on a pair of shoes.

Ask Wendy: You break, you pay. Is it legal?

If you accidentally break something while browsing, can you be forced to pay for it?
Go get groceries yourself instead of having them delivered to keep moving.

Be abreast of your right as a consumer to avoid abuse

Companies that routinely put profit before consumer rights can be extremely creative in justifying their decisions.

Slow burn as FNB reduces Slow Lounge benefits… again

Consumers love loyalty rewards programmes but they really‚ really hate it when the rewards get diluted after they’ve signed up.

Ask Wendy: Pay current debts, not old, prescribed debts

A staggering 40% of South Africa’s 24million credit active consumers have fallen behind in their repayments.

Beware bogus Banking Ombud text messages

Banking Ombud Clive Pillay isn’t in the habit of “issuing out funds” directly to consumers, and his office certainly doesn’t send SMSes about ruling

More Stories

Carry-over data scam carries on

When upgrading, ask whether your accumulated data or airtime will be migrated -if not, ask for it, writes Wendy Knowler

Black Friday seems not to be Doom’s day

They could have got it for a steal‚ but shoppers seemed to snub a deal on the spray that’s said to heal.

Ask Wendy: When ATMs behave badly - what to do when you don't get your money

What do you do if you go to draw money from an ATM, and it spits out a statement showing that the money has come off your account, but nothing else?

Don’t be silly this festive season - Consumer credit watchdog’s festive spending tips

The festive season is aptly named the “silly season” because of a spending frenzy that appears to afflict people over this period‚ says the National Credit Regulator’s Mpho Ramapala.

Child abuse? Forget it‚ says ad watchdog‚ after viewers give VW a rev

A TV ad for a Volkswagen‚ in which two parents forget their daughter is in the back‚ ends with the words: “It’s easy to forget it’s a family car”.

Network caught in lie

Does MTN force its subscribers to forfeit their accumulated unused airtime and data when they migrate to a different package within the network?
Emblems of VW Golf VII car are pictured in a production line at the plant of German carmaker Volkswagen in Wolfsburg

VW, Woolworths tops list for best customer service in SA

Volkswagen has emerged as the South African company which most “gets” its customers and delivers not only exceptional service, but succeeds in creating and sustaining an emotional connection with them.
The Kia Rio is displayed on media day at the Paris auto show

What your car really costs

The words “Kinsey Report” will no doubt make readers of a certain age think of sex, Indiana University zoologist Alfred Kinsey and two others having penned two revealing books on human sexual behaviour some six decades ago.

Costly insurance error

Can the bank that is financing your car impose an insurance policy on you, and debit your bank account for it?

Watchdog has 'sell-by' issues

This is the National Consumer Commission's stated mission: "To promote compliance with the Consumer Protection Act through advocacy and enforcement ."

4 FAQs about buying olive oil

Learning this lingo will come in handy next time you're shopping for a bottle of olive oil.

So much more to 'upgrade'

"I am so pleased I read your article, as that got me going."

Power Report: Give your insurer all the details - or it might cost you

The devil is always in the detail. And usually in the dull fine print most of us overlook - until it's too late.

Power Report: Holiday begins with rude shock from airline

I could feel the anger and frustration in Jenny Park’s e-mail. The Hyde Park, Johannesburg, grandmother had just found out that the airline on which her family group was booked had bumped them off - and hadn’t even bothered to alert them.
Costa Rica Uses 100 Percent Renewable Energy For A Record 75 Days

Latin America eyes volcanoes to fire up clean development

Mexico and Costa Rica aim to build on their position as Latin America's leading producers of geothermal power to help meet the challenges they face of curbing planet-warming emissions and making their energy supplies secure.

Power Report: Vodacom gets to fill the hole that 'Minecraft' dug

One of my earliest lessons in responsibility came from a beloved, but unconventional, aunt.
insurance, car, car repairs

Power Report: Don't fall for cut-rate car insurance

There's only one thing that beats buying your first car - buying your first new car.

KFC wary of customers making a meal out of its new Taste Guarantee

It’s been a year since the infamous KFC hose-blasted-on-cement-floor chicken scandal dominated mainstream media for almost a week and sparked 55-million social media impressions.

An ombud’s guide to dealing with high-maintenance complainants

There has been a steady increase in unreasonable conduct on the part of people complaining to the Ombudsman for Long Term Insurance‚ fuelled by what ombudsman Ron McLaren describes as “anger‚ frustration and an exaggerated sense of entitlement”.

CONSUMER WATCH: Truth and lies - the story of a repudiated job injury claim

What a shame a shocking case study in the just-released 2015 annual report of the Ombudsman for Long Term Insurance doesn’t name any of the parties involved.

Keep consumer flag flying

Six years ago, almost to the day, I opened up a conversation with you - the Sunday Times reader.

Beware of food fraud

How do you know the product you're eating contains what the label says it does?

What are selfies doing to our brains?

Narcissism? It’s more like being ’stuck in a state of adolescent crisis’, writes Celia Walden

Power Report: When convenience comes at a heavy price

We all love convenience. If we can get something done more quickly and simply, it is a no-brainer.

Vitality backtracks on Apple deal

If you're among the Discovery Vitality Active members who signed up for an Apple Watch thinking it would be fully sponsored, thanks to your gym activity - only to have the new points criteria leave you paying in every month, there's a glimmer of hope.
Leave your ID book or card at home. Take only the credit and debit cards you may need.

Power Report: Phantom debt was a two-year nightmare

It took Peter van der Walt two years to sort out a debt that wasn't his - and only after he resorted to venting on social media.
burglar bars, bars, security

Rust corrodes customer trust

The true test of a company's commitment to its customers comes when things go wrong.

Someone's been messing with my wine gums

Are you obsessive about disorder and want things in the same pattern as they always were?

Cash-free technology fuelled by convenience, stalled by suspicion

The world is moving to cashless payment technology. South Africans and others in emerging markets may still use cash a lot, but we could skip some steps and move straight to relatively hi-tech payments.

Consumers recruited for chicken tariff wars

The battle over frozen chicken import tariffs is being played out on South Africa's highways, in newspapers and on social media.

Power Report: Hospital ratings give power back to the patients

We've all heard hospital horror stories. Patients falling from their beds, having the wrong limb amputated, then going home with incorrect medicine - or worse, a hospital-acquired infection.

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