Credit furniture stores Supreme Furnishers and Furnmart do not abide by a clause of Section 6 of the Control of Goods (Marking of Goods) Regulations of 1974 that requires the total amount to be paid as deposit and instalments to be disclosed in advertisements, Mmegi Business has established.
"Where goods are offered for sale on hire-purchase terms or by way of credit sale or on any other terms as to deferred payment, the amount of any deposit, each instalment and the frequency of the instalments, the total number of instalments and the total amount to be paid by way of deposit and instalments shall be displayed," the section says.
Richard Harriman of the Consumer Watchdog, who is also the Managing Director of Business and Enterprise Solutions (BSE), says they have written to all the stores that sell on credit several times outlining these legal requirements.
"Some such as Ellerines and Beares responded very quickly and changed their advertising," says Harriman. But Supreme Furnitures and Furnmart have failed to respond accordingly.
But the Marketing Manager of Furnmart, Lynette Cilliers says the store discloses the full credit price when advertising. "We changed four months ago," she says. On inspection, it was found that Furnmart catalogues available in their stores reflect the deposit and instalments but not total hire-purchase amount.
Harriman laments lack of law enforcement in Botswana. "Consumer Protection Regulations, the Food Control Act and a host of other really good and well-written laws are not actively enforced," he says.
"They sit there on a shelf and are rarely ever used."