ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler

What you need to know...when you find a foreign object in your food

It’s not a lottery ticket - no company’s going to cough up a big amount of money as compensation if you find an unappetising foreign object or UFO in your jar of coffee or tub of yoghurt - not unless you can prove the direct cost of being harmed by it.

What they must do is respond to your complaint quickly; collect the offending product from you; refund you for it, at least; investigate the source, and get back to you with their findings.

And if you were harmed by inadvertently eating a contaminated product, the company is legally obliged to pay your medical expenses and compensate you for loss of earnings.

That’s provided you can prove the link between the product and your illness, and that you have receipts for your medical expenses.

The Consumer Goods and Services Ombud’s latest annual report, released this month (AUGUST) includes the case of a consumer who complained that she’d found rat faeces in a packet of chips and that this had affected her emotionally and physically.

She wasn’t happy with the R75 voucher and hamper from the manufacturer - she demanded R30K as compensation. A full quality control and environmental health inspection of the chip plant followed and no evidence of rat infestation was found. 
What the investigators did find was a gnawed hole in the corner of the chip packet, too big to have gone unnoticed in the plant, and through the many checkpoints to the shelf, they said, so it was most likely that rat found its way into that packet of chips after sale.

And given that no other complaints about that batch of chips had been received, that was the end of that - the Ombud sided with the company.

I should add here that in the 107/8 financial year, this Ombud sided with the consumer in 64% of the 5000+ cases it investigated.

And remember, if you go onto social media with claims which turn out to be untrue, that’s defamation, and the company could well take legal action against you.


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Waltons responds to 'logistical glitch' with back-to-school stationery sets

Waltons responds to 'logistical glitch' with back-to-school stationery sets

Parents complained about failed deliveries, lack of communication and poor customer service. Waltons has since issued a statement.

Beware: Your favourite dairy substitutes may contain milk

Beware: Your favourite dairy substitutes may contain milk

Allergen specialist Dr Harris Steinman says some imitation dairy products can contain cows milk protein.

5 things you should know about returning those faulty purchases

5 things you should know about returning those faulty purchases

Forget the store policy, here's what South African law says about returning defective and non-defective goods.

Jetting off soon? What to know about claiming for luggage damaged during flights

Jetting off soon? What to know about claiming for luggage damaged during flights

Airlines usually won’t accept responsibility or pay compensation for damage caused to luggage zippers, handles or wheels.

Don't fall for this online scam advertising a "free trial" of skincare products

Don't fall for this online scam advertising a "free trial" of skincare products

When people agree to a free product, such as eye cream or moisturiser, they have their credit cards charged without authorisation.

Here's how material non-disclosure affects life insurance claims

Here's how material non-disclosure affects life insurance claims

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler explains how material medical non-disclosure can jeopardise an insurance claim.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] John Maytham gets a taste of life on board Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth

[LISTEN] John Maytham gets a taste of life on board Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth

John Maytham and his team hopped on board the luxury ocean liner, which has docked in Cape Town, during a special outdoor broadcast.

Looking for something new to do in CT? Why not consider cycling across the ocean

Looking for something new to do in CT? Why not consider cycling across the ocean

Cape Town Water Bikes is an unusual way to experience the coastline of the South Peninsula. Hop on a water bike and pedal away!

Zondo commission's secretary implicated in Bosasa scandal - report

Zondo commission's secretary implicated in Bosasa scandal - report

Eusebius McKaiser spoke to investigative journalist at News24 Kyle Cowan on the latest developments in the inquiry.

Eusebius: 'We are living in a worse nightmare than we thought'

Eusebius: 'We are living in a worse nightmare than we thought'

Eusebius McKaiser shares his views on the former COO at Bosasa, Angelo Agrizz's testimony at the Zondo Commission.

Bosasa's dirty laundry out in public and Sapo vows to cooperate

Bosasa's dirty laundry out in public and Sapo vows to cooperate

Allegations of massive corruption, tender fraud and blatant mismanagement have emerged at the state capture inquiry.

No more swiping without sweating! Discovery Vitality introduces new swipe system

No more swiping without sweating! Discovery Vitality introduces new swipe system

The health programme piloted a new tag system at the exit points in a bid to crack down on fake gym visits at a few fitness clubs.

Woman arrives in CT after driving from Scotland to SA in her old Morris Minor

Woman arrives in CT after driving from Scotland to SA in her old Morris Minor

The journey began in Aberdeen, her father's birthplace, in June last year and ended in Mother City over the weekend.