You have rights, here you will find some of them broken down into categories:-

Specific rights in terms of the National Credit Act

In terms of the National Credit Act, you have the right to:-

  • request reasons for credit refusal;
  • receive documents in plain and understandable language, and in an official language you understand;
  • having all the relevant documents delivered to you;
  • confidentiality;
  • choose your own insurance;
  • six monthly statements delivered to you;
  • a pre-agreement statement with all the terms and conditions, and a written quote, valid for five days, which you may accept or reject;
  • only be charged fees and interest stipulated in the Act; and
  • Debt Counselling services, when you are unable to meet your repayment obligations.

Your consumer credit rights

As a South African consumer you have the right to:-

  • An understandable credit agreement in plain language;
  • A quote and pre-agreement statement, valid for 5 days;
  • Advertising and marketing which contains all the information on the cost of credit;
  • Limited credit sales whilst you are at work and home;
  • Feedback as to why your credit application was unsuccessful;
  • The prohibition of Reckless Credit;
  • Regulated fees and interest on all credit agreements, including micro and unsecured loans;
  • Regulated Credit Bureaus;
  • One free credit report per year;
  • Assistance when over-indebted;
  • Negotiate with Credit Provider (Debt Mediation);
  • Debt Counselling or Debt Administration, to enable restructuring of your debt.

Your consumer protection rights

Consumer protection rights in terms of the Consumer Protection Act

Consumer Protection Act contains four focus areas:

  1. Marketing and advertising practises;
  2. Consumer agreements and contracts;
  3. Franchise agreements and strict liability; and
  4. Specific rights of the consumer.

Right of equality:

Your right to equality prohibits any form of unfair discrimination in the consumer market. This right includes:-

  • your right to unlimited access to goods and services;
  • your right to high-quality goods and services;
  • your right to fair pricing of goods and services; and
  • your right to lodge complaints.

Right to privacy:

Your right to privacy places certain limits on the unrestrained use of your personal information for uninvited direct marketing campaigns, by requiring all direct marketers to provide you with an “Opt out” option for unsolicited marketing communication. You can also register a pre-emptive block on a register.

Right to Choose:

Your right to choose includes the following:

  • your right to select a supplier of your own choice;
  • your right to cancel or renew a fixed term contract without penalty or charge;
  • your right to receive quotes prior to authorisation for repairs of maintenance;
  • your right to cancel direct marketing transactions within five (5) business days (“cooling-off” period) without incurring penalties; and
  • your right to return goods and receive refunds within fifteen days.

Disclosure and information:

Your rights to disclosure and information facilitate the following:

  • simple and transparent contracts;
  • information in plain and understandable language;
  • compulsory display of prices and provision of transaction records;
  • the right to sale records, such as receipts and invoices;
  • requiring product labels and trade descriptions not to be misleading; and
  • the right to the identification of deliverers, installers and others.

Fair and responsible advertising, marketing and promotion:

Your right to fair and responsible advertising and marketing bans the following unfair marketing practices:

  • bait marketing;
  • referral; and
  • negative option marketing.

It also sets standards for customer loyalty programs.

Fair and honest dealings:

Your right to fair and honest dealing bans:

  • false, misleading and deceptive representations;
  • overselling and overbooking; and
  • unconscionable conduct.

Right to fair, just and reasonable terms and conditions:

Right to fair, just and reasonable terms and conditions:-

  • prohibits unfair, unreasonable or unjust contract terms;
  • requires you to be given free copies of contracts;
  • outlaws unilateral changes to contracts;
  • outlaws certain types of agreements (minors, negative option, etc.): and
  • prohibits any form of contracting out.

Right to Fair Value, Good Quality and safety:

Your right to fair value, good quality and safety enables the following:

  • access to quality service;
  • access to safe goods and services;
  • access to redress by providing statutory warranties for safety and quality; and
  • extends strict liability to retailers for illness, injury, damage to property and death as a result of defective goods or improper labelling.

Right to Accountability from Suppliers:

This right provides that if you are subject to lay-bye agreements:-

  • you may be entitled to the supply of equivalent or superior products; alternatively
  • you may request full refund of money paid, plus interest, where the goods or services provided are defective or improper.

Suppliers in possession of any prepaid certificates, credits, vouchers, membership fees or other money belonging to the consumers, must not treat such property as theirs; exercise care, diligence and skill; and assume liability for any losses suffered by consumers in this regard.

RC Fin 6