Legal recourse on appliance bought on Gumtree - is there any?

JNG

Active Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
55
Is there any legal recourse on something bought from someone directly? My example is a dishwasher I bought on Gumtree from someone. When viewing it all seemed to be fine. On installing at home, I noticed some missing parts inside and it is useless unless I get these parts or have it repaired.

It feels strange that there is nothing I can do. I've phoned the seller, but he is backing away and I'd hate to go legal here - but could I?
 

moklet

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2005
Messages
3,741
Unless it is a reputable shop, I guess you have been done in. See it as an expensive lesson learnt. Be very careful when trading on gumtree or any other classifieds ads website
 

visrot

Expert Member
Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
3,683
you could go to court for small claims but that would be a waste because

1. No paper work. Seller could deny he took part in this transaction
2. It's a washing machine for goodness sake. The time, effort and money is not worth it

Next you buy something from a private person, test it first
 

medicnick83

Paramedic
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
Messages
20,456
Many ads on sites like that are sold as 'foets stoets' I believe, which is - you buy it as is.
The problem is, many people are little buggers, the items (especially mechanical or computer) will work only for a few days before they plonk out and then you are stuffed and then the seller screams "innocence"

I personally NEVER buy mechanical / computer related items from classified sites because of it not working after a few days.

I had a issue a long while back, I think I even posted a thread about it.
I sold a motherboard to a guy, we couldn't test it because I had already sold the CPU and memory so he took it (trusting me) - a week later he came back to me and told me it was broken etc.
I've never sold anything to anyone that was broken, hell, if I think it might have an issue, I don't sell it because I don't want the drama.
I told him "had you come back to me a day or 2 after - I would've given your money back - you came back to me 8 days later... God knows what you did to that MB in that time!"
He went on, threatened me about this and that, luckily the MB was under warranty so he went to Intel and they sorted him out (apparently)

Suffice to say, just be very careful.

There are schemers out there!
 

hambone

Expert Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
Messages
1,513
The Consumer Protection Act effectively outlawed 'voetstoots' sales. In instances where there are known defects of a product the seller is to note these and the buyer should accept these defects as part of the contract of sale. The CPA now requires that all goods are sold in good working order, and free of all defects, except for those that are expressly mentioned in the contract of sale.

Now as for the buggered dishwasher, since the defects came to light after the conclusion of the sale, JNG is entitled to a refund (or elect to have the item replaced or repaired) within six months of the sale. If the dishwasher is repaired, then there is a further three month warrantee. If the faulty dishwasher caused damage to your property; such as broken crystal glasses, destroyed carpets or warping plywood cabinets; while under normal operation, the seller is liable for those damages too.

I would contact the NCC to discuss the options available to you.
 

schumi

Honorary Master
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
22,049
I suspect this would count as a "Normal once-off private transactions between a seller and buyer of property for private purposes will not be subject to the CPA." unless the seller trades as a business or sells appliances frequently
 

hambone

Expert Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
Messages
1,513
I suspect this would count as a "Normal once-off private transactions between a seller and buyer of property for private purposes will not be subject to the CPA." unless the seller trades as a business or sells appliances frequently
Maybe, but that particular section is sketchy on the details of exempt transactions. I reckon the seller in this instance is deemed a supplier, and will be subject to the Act. Feel free to point me in the right direction, I could be very wrong, it's been a while since I looked at interpretation.
 

KalMaverick

Expert Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
1,865
The sale is a private sale not in the normal course of business. CPA will not be applicable AFAIK.

With private sales, you’re on your own

Then there are private sales. Every week I get e-mails from people who’ve bought goods after responding to a classified ad, not realising they’ve bought voetstoots because private sales are not covered by the act.
 

KalMaverick

Expert Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
1,865
Interesting that the departure comes in the definition of a consumer, not in the definition of a supplier. Anyway, sorry JNG, looks like you're out of luck.
Highly unfair though, something breaking one week after buying it is completely different to being sold a working washing machine only to find out it's missing stuff, something that doesn't 'just happen' and the seller obviously knew about.
 

ld13

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 28, 2005
Messages
11,189
Is there any legal recourse on something bought from someone directly? My example is a dishwasher I bought on Gumtree from someone. When viewing it all seemed to be fine. On installing at home, I noticed some missing parts inside and it is useless unless I get these parts or have it repaired.
It feels strange that there is nothing I can do. I've phoned the seller, but he is backing away and I'd hate to go legal here - but could I?
Have a look at the original Gumtree advert and make sure that a reasonable person would interpret the advert as an offer for the sale of a working dishwasher. Any mention of eg. "AS-IS" etc might give the seller the edge. Make a copy of the original advert and print out copies as needed. Write a letter of demand to the seller demanding a refund as the seller failed to mention a material defect with the machine - it does not work etc etc. You can even get a copy of such a template at your local small claims court and get them to stamp it for you to boot. Send it together with a SAPS certified copy of the advert (to create the illusion that you are meaning business) to the seller via registered post and by hand or should you wish to opt for the more hardcore option: Via the sheriff.

You have to give the seller 14 days or whatnot after he received the letter of demand before you can get the court to set a court date for you. But feel free to have a chat with the folk down at your local small claims court should you have any questions - these days you can also find out quite a bit about the process online.
 

noxibox

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
17,580
you could go to court for small claims but that would be a waste because

1. No paper work. Seller could deny he took part in this transaction
Paperwork is not required. The court will accept witnesses. But the small claims court is quite a hassle, so it is only worthwhile for thousands of Rands, not hundreds.
 

Venomous

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
53,965
The Consumer Protection Act effectively outlawed 'voetstoots' sales. In instances where there are known defects of a product the seller is to note these and the buyer should accept these defects as part of the contract of sale. The CPA now requires that all goods are sold in good working order, and free of all defects, except for those that are expressly mentioned in the contract of sale.

Now as for the buggered dishwasher, since the defects came to light after the conclusion of the sale, JNG is entitled to a refund (or elect to have the item replaced or repaired) within six months of the sale. If the dishwasher is repaired, then there is a further three month warrantee. If the faulty dishwasher caused damage to your property; such as broken crystal glasses, destroyed carpets or warping plywood cabinets; while under normal operation, the seller is liable for those damages too.

I would contact the NCC to discuss the options available to you.
I have not seen anywhere, anything that says a private person (lets pick on cars), may not sell an item as voetstoots. They are required to disclose known defects. Lets say you bought a car, a week later(after RWC) the radiator pipe comes off, you keep driving and stuff up the engine.

There is no way that person would know what will happen tomorrow or next month.
 

TheGrove

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2013
Messages
1,314
I have not seen anywhere, anything that says a private person (lets pick on cars), may not sell an item as voetstoots. They are required to disclose known defects. Lets say you bought a car, a week later(after RWC) the radiator pipe comes off, you keep driving and stuff up the engine.

There is no way that person would know what will happen tomorrow or next month.
I had a similar issue with a DSTV decoder, guy came to buy it and I left it plugged in for him to test. when he got to the complex he parked outside and asked that I bring it to him and he did not need to test it. 2 weeks later he phones me and tells me the decoder is dead and I must give him is money back.

I was polite enough to offer to pay half the repairs then he got rather rude and aggressive so told him to fly a kite.

Be careful when buying/selling on Gumtree/Junkmail, scammers on both ends.
 

Batista

Executive Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
7,900
You should have made him put it on before buying.Where's peoples common sense nowadays..Sick of all these I've been scammed threads.
 

JNG

Active Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
55
@Everyone

Herewith some clarity on the situation:

1. I know his address and can describe the inside of his house - so I have proof that we did the transaction.
2. His advert says the dishwasher is in working order. So he gave false information. I have a copy of this advert with his cellphone number clearly on it.
3. I have an email trail as well, where we clearly discuss the transaction and how to meet at his house.
4. We did plug in and switch on the dishwasher and it went on, but could not wash anything as the pipes were not connected to any water outlet.

Now do you think I have legal recourse?

Defy Dishwasher - Home Furniture for Sale - Housewares - Outdoor Equipment - Gumtree Western Cap.jpg
 

F1 Fan

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2010
Messages
4,786
@Everyone

Herewith some clarity on the situation:

1. I know his address and can describe the inside of his house - so I have proof that we did the transaction.
2. His advert says the dishwasher is in working order. So he gave false information. I have a copy of this advert with his cellphone number clearly on it.
3. I have an email trail as well, where we clearly discuss the transaction and how to meet at his house.
4. We did plug in and switch on the dishwasher and it went on, but could not wash anything as the pipes were not connected to any water outlet.

Now do you think I have legal recourse?

View attachment 70117
So how do you know it's not working if you did not try washing anything?
 

TheGrove

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2013
Messages
1,314
@Everyone

Herewith some clarity on the situation:

1. I know his address and can describe the inside of his house - so I have proof that we did the transaction.
2. His advert says the dishwasher is in working order. So he gave false information. I have a copy of this advert with his cellphone number clearly on it.
3. I have an email trail as well, where we clearly discuss the transaction and how to meet at his house.
4. We did plug in and switch on the dishwasher and it went on, but could not wash anything as the pipes were not connected to any water outlet.

Now do you think I have legal recourse?

View attachment 70117
And you can prove that you did not remove the parts and are not trying to pull a fast one? maybe you are not happy with the purchase and damaged it so you could demand your money back as you found a better deal?
 

cbrunsdonza

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
13,383
@Everyone

Herewith some clarity on the situation:

1. I know his address and can describe the inside of his house - so I have proof that we did the transaction.
2. His advert says the dishwasher is in working order. So he gave false information. I have a copy of this advert with his cellphone number clearly on it.
3. I have an email trail as well, where we clearly discuss the transaction and how to meet at his house.
4. We did plug in and switch on the dishwasher and it went on, but could not wash anything as the pipes were not connected to any water outlet.

Now do you think I have legal recourse?

View attachment 70117
Small claims court.

There is a certain process you need to follow where you first send him a letter of demand. You need proof he recieved it so either hand it in person or user a courier.

Then once he has ignored you letter of demand, go to the local small claims court and file a case. Make sure to use the sheriff of the court to deliver the summons.

Then go to court and win.

I'm in the process of taking a local furniture retailer to small claims court and this site helped me a lot : http://smallclaimssa.co.za/
 

noxibox

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
17,580
You can use registered mail. It's no longer strictly necessary to have proof of delivery, only proof of sending, because many people deliberately ignore registered letters. You can also hand deliver the letter. If the recipient refuses to sign that they received the letter you can write an affidavit stating the letter was hand delivered or you can use a witness.

The summons must be sent with a sheriff.
 
Top