Trauma After Buying a Fridge …Beares Leaves Customer Peeved At Poor Service

A WINDHOEK resident, Annelien Cloete has been left with an unforgettable customer experience after buying a Defy brand fridge from Beares in Windhoek late last year.

Cloete told The Namibian that in December 2013, she bought a fridge from Beares, situated on Independence Avenue near the City of Windhoek headquarters.

Trouble started after three months, when she noticed the rubber door seal peeling off and the fridge ‘over-freezing.’

“I pay in installments. I also bought a bed and microwave as well. So for everything I am paying N$1134 every month over a 24 month period. I included a five year warranty to prevent these kind of problems, but I am now regretting because, if it is this difficult to have technical problems solved after only three months, imagine at a later time. I have not missed an installment,” she said.

Cloete said after submitting a complaint, Beares sent a technician on 12 March, who she said only pushed back the rubber and barely two weeks later, it started peeling off again.

“Pushing the rubber back didn’t fix the problem. My fridge was still over-freezing,” said Cloete.

With Beares failing to send a technician for weeks, Cloete said she had to unfreeze the fridge every two weeks. She went to Beares again on 16 May.

She claims that the sales consultant told her that she had submitted the complaint to Defy and also that she had informed the store manager, about the problem.

“She then aised that I speak to the manager to speed up the process. I told her that it was not my job to chase after them to sort out the problem and that my problem should be a priority as they had kept me waiting from March. She then promised to have the issue sorted out the next day. I waited again but I did not hear from Beares,” she said.

In June, Cloete was told that the store manager was on leave and the acting manager was not aware of the problem and that she should complain to Defy

“It was back and forth between Beares Namibia and me as well as Beares South Africa and myself. It was the worst experience I ever had. On 1 July, I was phoned by the manager and informed that I had refused to allow the technician to have a look at fridge, the previous day. I investigated this claim as I wasn’t even informed that they were coming. I spoke to my landlord and she told me that she refused entrance as I didn’t inform her, which is the case as they just showed up without letting me know. I informed both Beares SA and Beares Namibia of the situation,” she said.

Cloete said on 9 July, she went to see the manager, ‘just to get the worst customer care you can think of’.

The manager told Cloete that it was not Beares’ responsibility to fix the problem.

“He told me about a clause in the contract which states that Beares is not responsible for the maintenance of the fridge after it has been delivered and said it was Defy’s responsibility. He said that it is out of his hands. I then asked why this clause was not explained to me when I bought the fridge and he said it was the responsibility of the person who gave me the contract,” she said.

Cloete said the manager also claimed that it was impossible that the complaint had been left unattended for three months.

“He told me he doesn’t believe this is the case, indicating that I was lying. I told him to call in the sales consultant and he ignored my request. He said it was not Beares’ responsibility to give me a ‘loan’ fridge. It took an argument of about an hour to get him to commit to finding me a loan fridge,” she said.

Beares later that day dropped off a loan fridge. Last Monday, she was told that her fridge was fixed but when it was delivered, the door was not closing properly and it had to be sent back for repairs.

“I am truly fed up with the poor service and unprofessional conduct in the retail industry,” said Cloete.

Beares Stores manager, Bennie Beukes, however defended the conduct of the store saying Defy products that are still under warranty are sent to a company called Atlantic for repairs. He said Cloete was supposed to take the fridge to Atlantic in the first instance. Beukes said Beares had tried to help Cloete and provided her a ‘loan’ fridge.

“Our technicians were refused entry to her house, when they went to solve the problem. We care about our customers, we don’t ignore them,” said Beukes.

Source : The Namibian