NCR responds in Lewis debacle

By Danielle van Wyk

Following allegations against the Lewis Group for overcharging a customer R17 955 for a R5 999 washing machine, the National Credit Regulator (NCR) has responded by outlining the legal route every credit agreement requires.
 
“Consumers are reminded that the National Credit Act (NCA) allows for them to be given a quotation which sets out the cost of credit before signing credit agreements.
 
“Furthermore, the NCA requires that an affordability assessment be conducted in order to determine the obligations and means of a prospective consumers before credit is granted. Consumers should request this quotation from their credit providers so that they can properly check the cost of credit that is being offered. 
 
“Always answer truthfully and honestly when an affordability assessment is being conducted and beware that if an affordability assessment is not being conducted that the credit provider is breaching the National Credit Act,” stipulated the NCR.
 
The NCA further allows for the cancellation of a license afforded to credit providers, who repeatedly contradict the Act as well as the imposition of an appropriate fine.
 
The NCR in addition added that they are dedicated to “stopping market abuses and will continue to conduct industry-wide investigations to protect vulnerable consumers and to combat over indebtedness. The actions of credit providers who do not fully comply with the NCA will not be tolerated and the necessary enforcement action will be taken.”
 
Despite the allegation that Lewis had not conducted a proper affordability assessment and had sold a machine to a man of limited literacy and someone who clearly couldn’t afford the repayments, the Lewis Group remain adamant that the correct procedures were followed.
 
The customer was successfully granted a refund and the cancellation of the contract.
 
Consumers were once again encouraged to lodge any complaints should they believe that the provisions and stipulations of the NCA have been breached, at 0860 627 627 or email complaints@ncr.org.za.
 
For more information on the Lewis allegations, click here.

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