ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler

At own risk! What you need to know before signing that disclaimer

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler helps shed light on the rights of consumers when dealing with disclaimers and indemnity forms.

Knowler says disclaimers and indemnities protect service providers from liability arising from any injury, theft or harm related to anything they do or don’t do.

Read: Want to get out of your gym contract? Here's why it will probably cost you

She explains that while the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) does not outlaw indemnities, it restricts how companies formulate and enforce them.

Companies are within their rights to indemnify themselves against certain liabilities, as long as they notify consumers properly.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

The CPA states that unfair clauses - which exempt a company from liability for losses caused by gross negligence, for example - will not be upheld.

The law demands that disclaimers must be written in plain and understandable language.

The consumer must also be given adequate opportunity to receive and comprehend the provisions.

Recap: You're probably reading expiry dates wrong (and wasting food in the process)

Menwhile, CPA specialist attorney Trudie Broekmann says consumers are allowed to scratch out certain clauses in a contract that they don't agree with.

The purpose of the CPA is to protect vulnerable consumers.

Trudie Broekmann, CPA specialist attorney

The purpose of a contract is that we have two parties with equal negotiating power.

Trudie Broekmann, CPA specialist attorney

The CPA requires that an exclusion of liability to be fair, reasonable and just towards the consumer. We're not just looking at the supplier's interest.

Trudie Broekmann, CPA specialist attorney

A disclaimer has a deterrent effect on claims.

Trudie Broekmann, CPA specialist attorney

Take a listen to Trudie Broekmann and Wendy Knowler explains the legal loopholes:

Got a consumer case you need help resolving?

Email: consumer@knowler.co.za, put Cape Talk in the subject line, followed by the issue e.g. cellphone contract dispute.


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
3 things about airline industry practice every flyer should know

3 things about airline industry practice every flyer should know

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler talks overbooking, flight cancellations and other airline industry woes.

'South Africans are so used to shoddy service that it became their expectation'

'South Africans are so used to shoddy service that it became their expectation'

Consumer expert Adré Schreuder explains how companies measure customer satisfaction to improve on services offered.

Food fraud: Could you be eating fake honey?

Food fraud: Could you be eating fake honey?

CapeTalk's Pippa Hudson chats to consumer journalist, Wendy Knowler about adulterated (fake) honey.

SA-made Rolkem cake decoration products may not be safe to eat

SA-made Rolkem cake decoration products may not be safe to eat

The UK’s Food Standards Agency issued an advisory, claiming that Rolkem failed to confirm that their ingredients were safe to eat.

Top mistakes to avoid when insuring your phone

Top mistakes to avoid when insuring your phone

It's important to make sure that your policy covers you for the correct value of your phone and the current device you are using.

5  things corporates really must stop saying and writing to clients

5 things corporates really must stop saying and writing to clients

Here's some meaningless superfluous jargon corporates really should stop sending to clients says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler

Popular articles
Survivor winner Tom Swartz vows to buy his wife 'new boobies and a family house'

Survivor winner Tom Swartz vows to buy his wife 'new boobies and a family house'

Swartz says he would have done anything to get the R1 million prize money.

'There is no way Magnus Malan could've done the things he is accused of'

'There is no way Magnus Malan could've done the things he is accused of'

Former police minister Adriaan Vlok has rejected accusations that former minister Malan was at the centre of a paedophile ring.

How businessman Max Lichaba struck gold with his jewellery company

How businessman Max Lichaba struck gold with his jewellery company

Entrepreneur Max Lichaba built his own empire and is the CEO of Lichaba Creations and several other businesses. This is his story.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.