Robert McQuinn finds peeling vegetables painful due to the arthritis in his fingers and hands. Sometimes it's difficult to peel and slice a potato and he has to take a break until the pain subsides.
So when the 85-year-old Whangārei man saw an nifty vege peeler and slicer for sale on television he thought that could be the answer. However, purchasing the gadget from the company called Brand Developers has caused him far more suffering than he anticipated.
And it seems the company has other consumers dissatisfied with the service being provided with Brand Developers falling in the top 20 companies with the most complaints against them from the start of 2017 to end of April 2018
For McQuinn the drama began in May when he saw an advert on television and decided he needed the $79 vegetable peeler and slicer.
"Having arthritis in the hands I thought it was an ideal thing for me."
He rang the number on the screen and spoke with a person who told him he could not pay with an eftpos card, as he wanted to, but a cheque would be accepted.
McQuinn went to his local bank at the post office and organised a bank cheque written out to Brand Developers, posted it and waited in anticipation of the gadget's arrival.
The cheque was banked and the money taken from McQuinn's account on June 11.
When the item failed to appear McQuinn rang the company querying the delivery of the vege peeler and slicer. He was told to provide evidence of the payment as there was no record of him paying.
With the help of a friend, McQuinn returned to the post office and got a bank statement proving the money had been taken from the account which was duly emailed to Brand Developers.
What ensued was more phone calls and a promise a new order had been made and the item would be delivered in 10 days.
"I've bought things through them before like an air frier and a tyre pump with no problem. Why can't people be honest. I've paid the money, I just want the item because it might make my life a bit easier," McQuinn said.
The last phone call, all of which he has meticulously documented, led to McQuinn believing the item would be sent to him. That was well over two weeks ago and still nothing.
So more than two months after the money was taken from his account he has nothing to show for it except building frustration.
"Either they send it or refund my money. That's all I want and a bloody apology for all the bloody lies, excuse my French. I'm determined and I'm not going to give up."
He wanted to tell his story to warn others of the issues of ordering off television based companies.
Consumer NZ adviser Maggie Edwards said payment by credit card was preferable when paying for items over the phone because if they were not delivered in a reasonable time there was an ability to go to the bank to arrange a charge back.
She said under the Consumer Guarantees Act a supplier had to make a delivery in a reasonable time and deliver the item undamaged.
When contacted a spokesman for Brand Developers said he was not able to comment on this specific order or why it had taken so long for the delivery of the vegetable device. He said he would need to investigate, as every case was different.
Just last week Brand Developers were identified in the top 20 retailers in New Zealand with the most consumer complaints received for the first quarter of 2018.
They come in at 16th place with 56 complaints behind Viagogo who topped the list with 345 complaints, followed by Vodafone 298 and Spark 257.
The figures were obtained under the Official Information Act.
Your rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act:
Guarantee as to delivery
(1) Where a supplier is responsible for delivering, or for arranging for the delivery of, goods to a consumer there is a guarantee that the goods will be received by the consumer - (a) at a time, or within a period, agreed between the supplier and the consumer; or
(b) if no time or period has been agreed, within a reasonable time.
(2) Where the delivery of the goods fails to comply with the guarantee under this section, Part 2 gives the consumer a right of redress against the supplier and, in that case, the consumer may,—
(a) if the failure is of a substantial character, reject the goods under section 18(3); and
(b) in any case, obtain damages under section 18(4) (other than damages relating to the remedies set out in section 18(2), whether or not the consumer also rejects the goods.
(3) For the purposes of this section, the reference in section 20(1)(b) to an agent of the supplier must be treated as including any carrier or other person who undertakes to deliver the goods on behalf of the supplier.