CONSUMER complaints increased by 60% during the previous financial year.
This was revealed yesterday by Magauta Mphahlele, acting ombudsman of the Consumer, Goods and Services Ombud.
She said most complaints were directed a telecommunications, furniture, retail clothing and fitness businesses.
However, she said the ombud regularly meets suppliers to help them improve their complaints handling process and their compliance with the Consumer Protection Act.
“About 37% of consumers complained about the defective goods warranty provided for in the act.”
She said 31% complained about delays or shoddy service standards and 24% had a problem with the cancellation of agreements.
“The remainder were related to bad treatment, misleading marketing, lack of disclosure as well as health and safety issues.”
According to Mphahlele, the ombud gave a ruling on 4 650 of the 5 595 cases opened in the previous financial year.
She said 60% of the complaints were resolved fully or partially in favour of the consumer, with 48% being fully upheld and 12% being partially upheld.
“While we consider the 60% positive outcomes as good for the consumer, we are still concerned that in 17,8% of cases, the complaint could not be resolved because of a lack of co-operation from the supplier.”
Mphahlele advised that where the complaints were not upheld or no co-operation was received, consumers should lodge a fresh complaint with the National Consumer Commission.