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Consumer Protection Law
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The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has withdrawn its referral of Foschini Retail Group – a subsidiary of listed clothing retailer TFG – to the National Consumer Tribunal for an alleged breach of the National Credit Act.
Volkswagen Financial Services SA (VWFS), which was ordered this week by the National Consumer Tribunal to pay back unlawfully levied fees charged to customers, is to appeal against the ruling. The tribunal ruled on Monday that the on-the-road admin and handling fees charged by Volkswagen Financial Services SA on consumer credit agreements were unlawful.
The Gardens Lodge Body Corporate has been found to have charged a complex unit owner a ‘patently exorbitant’ rate on outstanding levies and/or interest. A Cape Times report says Norbert Ketzer challenged the body corporate in the SCA on an amount of R233 383 – with interest at the rate of 34.8% per annum – compounded monthly for September 2012 until July 2014.
Chicken Licken claims that the name of a vegan restaurant in Durban North, Oh my Soul Café, and its use of the word ‘licken’ in its menu are confusing to customers, and so it is taking the restaurant to court over alleged trademark infringements. Chicken Licken says it needs urgent adjudication, and the dispute is due to be aired before KZN High Court (Durban) Judge Dhaya Pillay this week.
Consumers' struggles with insurance pay-outs were highlighted after OUTsurance received a R65 000 bloody nose from clients who fought and beat the company. According to a report on the IoL site, Vuyisile Ntshangase and her husband Sifiso – both of whom are lawyers – took on OUTsurance after it refused to pay a lodged claim, despite expert mechanics from Mercedes-Benz Bedfordview – an accredited workshop – saying their car’s problematic steering rack was damage caused by entering a pothole, which the insurer covers.
Tenants have emerged victorious in two recent cases before the Rental Tribunal which found that landlords' right to favourable returns on their investments was outweighed by the rights of their tenants to affordable housing. GroundUp reports on two Western Cape tenants who faced eviction by the same landlord.
The National Consumer Commission has proposed a wide-ranging shake-up of legislation to enhance consumer protection and clean up the local holiday ownership and timeshare industry. The Mercury reports this will include the appointment of an ombudsman to rule on future complaints and possible banning of marketing practices long used to lure consumers.
Discovery has moved swiftly to seal the document to contain possible fallout after hundreds of its clients had personal information such as names, ID numbers and contact details disclosed in court papers that have been accessed by third parties. Discovery said yesterday the data was never publicly disclosed and it had taken steps to comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act, notes BusinessLIVE.
Discovery Life has disclosed detailed personal information about roughly 1 000 clients in court documents it lodged as part of a Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) application against one of its former brokers, says a Moneyweb report. Devan de Meyer resigned from the firm to join independent broking house MedBond.
Hackers using state-of-the-art technology stole and defrauded South Africans out of R250m in a single year, according to the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) when releasing the latest digital banking crime statistics yesterday. It revealed that in 2017 cyber-criminals were involved in 13 438 online‚ mobile and Internet banking attacks, and the total sum siphoned off in all digital banking-related crimes during that year was R250m.
The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) has welcomed a High Court decision that Magistrate's Courts should be the first port of call for financial institutions seeking judgment against their clients, where matters fall within the lower courts' monetary jurisdiction. According to a GroundUp report, the LRC argued that 'measures must be taken to reduce the economic, social and geographical barriers that prevent a respondent's access to court' as required under the Constitution.
The ANC is claiming victory in its lawsuit over exorbitant water tariffs against the City of Cape Town, which apparently conceded to its demands, says a Cape Argus report. However, lawyers letters show the city is refusing to agree that it will not cut the water supply of defaulting consumers. The ANC in the Western Cape filed a class action in the Western Cape High Court on behalf of four residents, that seeks to have all water and sanitation tariffs increases set aside.
From February next year, litigants – especially big corporates and financial institutions – will no longer simply be able to haul the public before the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) when it is convenient for them. A Pretoria News report says a full Bench – led by Pretoria Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba – ruled that from 2 February, civil actions, where the monetary value claimed was within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate’s Courts, should be instituted in those forums.
The Right2Know campaign and Privacy International (PI) have applied to intervene as amici curiae in the matter of amaBhungane challenging the government on the law around spying on citizens, says a News24 report. AmaBhungane filed an application in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) last year, making a case that Rica (the Regulation of Interception of Communication and Provision of Communication Related Information Act) is unconstitutional.
In an outcome described by the Daily Maverick as a victory for the protection of personal information from corporate recklessness, Vodacom has coughed up R1.2m in an out-of-court settlement for handing over forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan’s personal information to jailed former underworld boss Radovan Krejcir's legal team in 2014.
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