ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler

You'll want to read your car tracker's terms and conditions after seeing this

It's commonplace for cars in South Africa to be installed with vehicle tracking devices, in fact, for some insurance companies it's compulsory.

But how much do you really know about your car's tracker, whether it's working or not and how the premium you're paying for peace of mind may, in fact, be money down the drain?

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler was contacted by listener Sharon, who purchased a 2016 Range Rover Evoque from a local dealership last August.

As part of the deal, Sharon inherited a Netstar tracking device which was already fitted to the vehicle.

She was issued with a document, stating: “This is to certify that the following vehicle(s) have been fitted with a tracking and recovery system from Netstar..”

The R170 monthly debits went off her bank account, and Sharon thought all was well.

But while phoning around for new insurance quotes Sharon discovered that the device hadn't even been activated.

She was paying R170 a month and Netstar actually had no idea where her car was.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Imagine if she had been hijacked. It was an expensive car, she's just lucky it was never taken

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Sharon says she was told by Netstar that it was up to her to test the device a few times a year and that she hadn't previously been told that it was her responsibility to activate the tracker.

This could have been so much worse – if her car HAD been hijacked or stolen, her insurance claim could have been disputed because of the fact that the tracking device her car was not activated.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Wendy's advice?

When you acquire or take over a tracking unit, find what is required of you - and the company - in terms of ensuring that the unit is active and responsive. In other words, that you will be able to get the service that you’re paying for. And what a successful car theft claim depends on.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Listen to the full interview below:


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