Restless nights for elderly couple

Stanley Swartz and wife Magdalene say their were sold a damaged bed.

A Belthorn Estate couple feel they have been taken advantage of after a shop sold them a damaged bed and took a month to give them a refund.

Stanley Swartz, 85, bought the bed at Lewis stores in Athlone on Sunday April 15.

Two weeks later, his wife Magdalene, 84, complained that the bed was hurting her side and she opted to sleep in a chair instead.

Ms Swartz was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago.

Mr Swartz said after he went to the store and laid a complaint, a staff member told him that an agent would be sent to inspect the bed but nobody came.

“A week later I went back to the store and asked them for my money back and they said they can sell me another bed for R5 000. I told them I can’t afford that – I saved up to buy my wife the previous bed. They saw I was annoyed but they kept acting calm and they were helpful,” he said.

The couple’s daughter, Belinda Schuller, then stepped in and contacted the store.

She was told that the complaint needed to be lifted so that her parents could be refunded.

This, they said, would take three days, but by the following week the couple still had the bed and no refund.

Ms Schuller said she then called the Lewis head office in Woodstock who said that the complaint had been lifted and she was welcome to collect her refund at the Athlone branch.

“My mom slept on a chair for an entire month. On the Friday the manager said that she only had R1300 and she would do the refund as soon as she had the full R2 500. I could see that she was lying. She still didn’t come after that. Then she said she would come at 5.15pm to fetch the bed and bring the refund but she did not. She called after 6pm to say that she is awaiting an authorisation number to release the money, she always had a story,” said Ms Schuller.

The following day she again called the store, again she was told that once the full amount was available, she would get the refund.

The Athlone News contacted the store on Monday May 14.

The manager of the store, only known as Leticia, said she had told Mr Swartz that the bed was a “spare room bed and not meant to be slept on every day”.

Asked why the store would sell beds that are not meant to be slept on every day, she said: “Some beds are cheaper than others and different quality. He didn’t have enough money for the bed and we gave him a discount,” she said.

Mr Swartz said that he felt that he was taken advantage of because he is a pensioner and the shop sold him a damaged bed.

Mr Swartz finally got his refund on Tuesday May 15, one month after buying the bed.