Fri | Sep 22, 2017

FLOW changing rules in middle of the game

Published:Saturday | January 30, 2016 | 1:00 AM

RAJENDRA JADUSINGH

Disgusted FLOW customer

I'm compelled to write this my second letter of complaint about FLOW as I simply can't allow Garfield Sinclair's disgraceful pronouncements to go unchallenged. I recently watched him on a TVJ programme defending his company's position regarding FLOW's so-called 'packages'.

Now, I'm certainly no lawyer, so I'm not in a position to question the legality of their actions. However, ethically, it's another matter entirely. I'd like Mr Sinclair to consider the following scenario:

He's decided to purchase a pickup, so he goes to a dealer and discusses their offerings with a salesperson. He selects options based on his wants and needs. As he plans to use this vehicle for leisure activities, he chooses comfort and style options like leather seats and chrome exterior trim on the bumpers and mirrors. He will also use it occasionally for work, and so selects four-wheel drive as well to ensure functionality.

Interestingly enough, these options he's selected are called a 'package' by the dealer. After agreeing on a price for this package, he pays in advance for his pickup and awaits delivery. Lo and behold, when his pickup arrives, he sees that it has cloth seats and black plastic bumpers and mirrors. It also seems very low to the ground, and when he checks, it is, in fact, a two-wheel drive model.

Upon voicing his displeasure to the dealer, he's told, "Sorry, but you bought a package, and we reserve the right to alter the contents of that package as we see fit. In fact, not only have we removed a number of things we agreed to supply, but you're also going to have to pay us an additional sum for the privilege of driving your vehicle out through the gate."

The above scenario, though hypothetical, is not at all unlike what FLOW has done. I'm quite sure that if Mr Sinclair faced that situation, he would demand a refund and simply go elsewhere to acquire a vehicle with the features he wants and needs. Now, just to be clear, my issues with FLOW aren't limited to Mr Sinclair's attitude and his company's high-handedness. It goes much deeper.

The service offered by them is also abysmal. In Stony Hill where I live, there are constant interruptions in both the cable and Internet service. Even when it "works", a lot of the channels offer poor reception with either bad picture or sound quality, or both. The Internet speed would be laughable if I wasn't paying for it.

Just as he's asserting FLOW's rights to alter their packages, as consumers, we need to exercise our right of choice.