The National Consumer Tribunal has released a finding which – essentially – finds that Edcon has been unlawfully charging its customers a fee to belong to its club. This finding is very significant for Edcon who faces the possibility of having to refund customers to the tune of several billion Rand (yes that is ‘billion’) and the National Credit Regulator is currently looking for Edcon to undergo an indpendent audit to find out exactly how much money Edcon will have to repay to its customers.
To make matters worse the amount of money back dates to July 2007 which essentially means that Edcon has been charging illegal fees for over a decade.
The section of the law in question is section 101 of the National Credit Act which sets out the fees that a credit provider can charge and ONLY those fees can be charged. Any additional fee / charge is illegal and was illegal from 2007.
What is not yet clear (we don’t yet have access to the actual judgment – just the press release from the NCT) is whether further action relating to the criminal offense of overcharging (section 100 (3) of the NCA as amended in 2014) will still happen.
Someone has just had a really bad day…

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