War of words over installation of cameras

A Rylands pensioner complained of poor workmanship in the installation of surveillance cameras.

A Rylands pensioner complained of poor workmanship from a man she hired to install surveillance cameras at her home, saying he took advantage of her three sons, who are all blind.

Hanifa Vasta, 64, said her family was left traumatised after a burglary, and this prompted them to upgrade their security at home. Her one son’s friend had referred them to Rudy Combrinck from R and R Innovation.

Ms Vasta said she had paid him R4 000 to install the cameras, which were bought from another company.

While the installation happened, Ms Vasta and her husband were not home for a few days, as they had to urgently seek specialist help for her husband’s serious medical condition.

On their return, Ms Vasta said, she had been shocked to see wires hanging from her walls and an untidy mess of wires at her wall socket.

“What is heartsore for me, is that he took advantage of my sons’ lack of eyesight. How will my sons trust other people now? I’ve asked him for half of my money back, but he refuses. I can’t trust him to fix it. He claims his work was not up to standard because one of my sons rushed him, but that is no excuse,” Ms Vasta said.

Mr Combrinck, however, denies any wrongdoing.

He claims Ms Vasta bad-mouthed him to his other clients and spoiled his reputation.

This, Ms Vasta denies, saying she doesn’t know who his clients are.

“She pulled out the wiring, because she is not happy with the system (the surveillance cameras). I offered to come fix it for her, but she didn’t want that. It is not true that I took advantage of her sons. When I completed the job, her daughter and her sister (both of whom have no visual impairment) were there, and I refused to take the balance of the money before they checked it out. Her sons are blind, not stupid. The one is a lawyer and the other does IT. It was all properly in the channel. If someone scratched into the system after I left, then that warrantee falls away.

“I have WhatsApp messages to prove that she said she was going to pull it out. Why does she want money back? She paid for labour and labour was done,” Mr Combrinck said.

Ashley Searle, from the Office of the Consumer Protector, said he would not be able to give comment about this particular case, as the matter had to be investigated.

He said, however, that “just because someone pays you, it does not mean that they are happy with the job”.

Mr Searle said Section 54 of the Consumer Protection Act, deals with the right to fair value, good quality and safety.

This section states that the consumer has the right to demand quality service.

It further states that consumers are entitled to the following, when entering into agreement or contract with suppliers:

* Timely performance and completion of services.

* Timely notice of any unavoidable delays in the performance of the services.

* High quality services, which consumers are entitled to expect.

* Use, delivery or installation of goods that are free of defects and of a quality that persons are generally entitled to expect, if any such goods are required for performance of the services.

* Suppliers are required to remedy any defects in the quality of services performed or goods supplied; or refund the consumers a reasonable portion of the price paid for the services performed and goods supplied, in the event of these being sub-standard.

Section 55 and Section 56 of the Consumer Protection Act could also apply in this matter.

For more information, call the Office of the Consumer Protector at 0800 007 081 or you can email consumer@westerncape.gov.za