A Cape Town-based education NGO may have to take legal action against electronic products supplier, Glotrade, after the company failed to reimburse them for an incorrect order.
The Social Project placed a repeat order for 200 Android tablets with Glotrade, including specific software and hardware specifications.
The NGO made full payment upfront as requested, of R207 000, in December last year, explains The Social Project founder Michael Darby.
However, the tablets - which were needed for their 'School in a Box' academic support programme - were not what they paid for.
Glotrade did not deliver on the correct device specifications and conceded to not testing the order before handing the batch over, Darby says.
The NGO eventually returned the devices but have waited several months to be reimbursed to no avail.
Darby explains that the money is well over 10% of the NGO's annual budget and operations have suffered as a result of the financial setback.
They were supposed to do testing on their side, to make sure they work, which they didn't do.— Michael Darby, founder of The Social Project
When the tablets arrived, we found that they were dramatically different.— Michael Darby, founder of The Social Project
It was a completely different Android build. The [charging] ports and buttons were in different places. There were different cameras, batteries and processors.— Michael Darby, founder of The Social Project
People took voluntary cuts in salaries so that we could make it through.— Michael Darby, founder of The Social Project
Meanwhile, consumer journalist Wendy Knowler has encouraged consumers to keep a trail of evidence that will prove the failure of service providers, should legal action be taken.
She emphasises the importance of documenting the specifications of what was ordered in any service agreement or transaction.
It always boils down to precise documentation around an order.— Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist
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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : That's not what we paid for: Cape NGO left hanging after Glotrade botches order