Windhoek-When Irene Ndala bought a brand-new stove and oven combination for about N$5 000 from local furniture retailer, House and Home, her mind was at ease because, after all, she had purchased from a reputable shop a brand-new appliance that she intended to send up to the town of Otavi.
Little did she know that her purchase would turn into a nightmare when a few weeks after paying cash for the stove she went to collect, only to be told that someone else had already picked up the item on her behalf. The store could however not verify or identify who collected the stove due to the absence of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at the loading area.
“Apparently someone showed up at the store and said ‘I’m here to pick up Ndala’s stove’,” she narrated to New Era. From this point onward it was an uphill battle for Ndala who was first subjected to a barrage of questions by the retailer’s staff, who even went to her house to confirm that the stove was indeed not in her possession. “It was a struggle and I went as far to threaten them that I will go the media and expose them on social media,” said Ndala.
The unexpected pick up really baffled House and Home Wernhil branch staff and its manager, Kakuna Korupanda, who advised Ndala to report a case to the police to rectify the matter. Once Ndala reported the case and provided House and Home proof of this, they commenced with the process of providing her with a replacement appliance and even went as far as paying for the transportation of the stove to Otavi.
“I was happy that they managed to resolve the issue but the total ordeal was really a struggle. While I am satisfied that the issue was sorted out I doubt that I will be shopping at House and Home again,” said a clearly distressed Ndala.
In what clearly smells like an inside job, where either a person or persons, informed a third party that a stove was ready for picking up in someone else’s name, House and Home management have declined to comment on the matter, citing that it is still under investigation by the police.
“We wanted to sort out the customer first but the case is still ongoing,” said House and Home Wernhil branch manager Korupanda. He said he hoped the case would soon be finalised and that House and Home would soon be undergoing refurbishment, which will include the installation of CCTV cameras at the company’s loading dock.
House and Home is a trading division of Shoprite Checkers, which currently operates over 550 stores throughout Africa. House and Home stores number 50 with branches located in Gauteng, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Welkom, North West Province, Western and Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal and of course Namibia.