Business

Stand your ground for 1,000 more feet of barbed wire

Tell Claudienne

With Claudienne Edwards

Sunday, May 25, 2014    

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Dear Claudienne,

I bought a roll of barbed wire from a hardware store in Spanish Town. On May 21, 2013, I paid the hardware store $8,700 in advance for 2,100 feet of barbed wire to be delivered in three days. However, after many phone calls the roll of wire was finally delivered on June 3, without a label .

When the wire was installed I found out that it was short by 1000 ft. I called the proprietor of the hardware store and she promised to speak with the barbed wire supplier and call me, but she never did. I went to see her at the store and she said she had given me the wrong wire. She then gave me her business card and said that when I called her she would give me the additional 1,000 ft of barbed wire.

After that I called her many times and left several messages, but when she did not respond I went to the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) to try to get redress.

The CAC officer said that the proprietor would refund my money if I returned the barbed wire, but I did not consider that to be a reasonable solution.

As the wire had already been installed, I would have had to pay someone to remove it and would have also had to pay for transportation to return it to the hardware store.

In my opinion, that solution would be a waste of my time as the value of the wire that was delivered to me was $6,000, and to return it would cost me more than the price of another roll of wire.

I would appreciate any assistance that you could give me in resolving this matter.

DD

Dear DD

According to the CAC, under the Consumer Protection Act you should be refunded your money and the wire returned to the hardware store. However, this was not a straightforward case, as outlined above. Although the proprietor agreed to refund your money when you returned the wire, you had already installed it. You had also lodged a complaint with the Bureau of Standards that the roll of wire had no label that stated the quantity. You also asked the Bureau to test if the wire met the required standards.

Checks by the Bureau of Standards showed that no quantity specifications were stated on the rolls of barbed wire sold by any of the hardware stores. The stores sold a small roll of barbed wire for an estimated $5,410, and a large roll for $8,527.

The CAC said that the hardware store proprietor felt that your claim was unreasonable, as in addition to the cost of the wire, you were also claiming $3,000 for transportation and $12,000 for the labour costs to install the wire.

"With the positions of the vendor and complainant so hardened, mediation became more difficult," the CAC said.

The CAC said that the officer ceased the negotiations with the hardware proprietor after you advised her that you would take the matter to the Small Claims court.

However, the CAC decided to reopen the negotiations with the hardware store, and the proprietor eventually agreed to give you another roll of wire in the interest of good customer relations.

We note that you have now received the additional roll of barbed wire.

Good luck.

Dear Claudienne

I applied for my NIS benefit from June 2013. In December I was told that I did not qualify for a pension but would get a grant. I was also told that my claim had been processed and sent to the head office, but every time I call I am told something different.

Could you please check with them for me as I need to know the true position.

LC

Dear LC

The NIS has advised Tell Claudienne that a cheque for a small grant of $20,000 has been mailed to you. Please keep us advised.

Good luck.

Have a problem with a store, utility, a company: telephone 936-9436 or write to: Tell Claudienne c/o Sunday Finance, Jamaica Observer, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5; or e-mail: edwardsc@jamaicaobserver.com. Please include a contact phone number.

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