According to the NCR, following an investigation, it was revealed that “Edcon has charged consumers a club fee on credit agreements. The charging of a club fee on credit agreements is not permitted by the National Credit Act.”
When contacted, Vuyo Mtawa, group media relations manager for Edcon, noted: “Edcon acknowledges that on 05 November 2015, the company received the Notice of Motion from the National Credit Regulator (“Regulator”). Edcon is also aware of the media release issued by the Regulator today which alleges that the company has breached certain provisions of the National Credit Act by charging consumers a club fee on credit agreements. Our legal team is studying the Notice of Motion and the supplementary documents to better understand the Regulator’s position. Edcon will issue a statement at the appropriate time.”
The NCR has requested that the NCT order Edcon to:
- Refund the affected consumers the club fees charged;
- Interdict Edcon from continuing with their unlawful conduct;
- Impose an appropriate administrative fine.
Jacqueline Boucher, acting manager for investigations and enforcement at the NCR, highlighted: “The National Credit Act allows consumers to be given a quotation which sets out the cost of credit before signing credit agreements. Consumers should request this quotation from their credit providers so that they can properly check the cost of credit that is being offered.”
Mtawa further highlighted that the Club membership that Edcon offers is optional. “[It] is in no way a condition of any credit agreement, that prospective and existing credit customers can sign up for, that entitles customers to an array of popular benefits ranging from discounted movie tickets, dinner, wine, travel as well as offering peace of mind for their families with discounted funeral cover, emergency assistance, legal assistance and educational benefits at an affordable price.”
Earlier this year, it came to Justmoney’s attention that when trying to open an Edgar’s account (the clothing retailer is owned by the Edcon group), a customer was asked to lie about her employment information in order to make the process easier for the consultant opening the account, which is also a breach of the NCA.
However, when the matter was reported to Edcon, they noted that this was not the company’s standard procedure and that the consultant in question was hired by a third party company and had been removed from the Edcon account.
For more information on this incident, click here.
For more information on the Edcon Club benefits, click here for Edgars, or click here for Jet.