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In October 2017, Ruth bought a phone from a mobile trader. She expected the phone to be delivered after she had made 8 payments. When she had not received the phone, she contacted the mobile trader in early 2018, and was told she would receive the phone in April 2018.

Ruth complained to FSCL.



Ruth wanted to cancel the contract with the mobile trader. She also wanted to know why her first 4 payments towards the phone were $27, but then increased to $36.

The mobile trader said that Ruth had purchased the phone in October 2017, but in November 2017 changed her mind and chose a new product. The phone had been purchased on a fast payment plan, where delivery was after 8 payments had been made. But the new product was purchased on a plan where delivery was after 24 payments had been made. The change in product was also the reason for the $9 increase in the weekly payment amount.

After she contacted FSCL, Ruth received a phone, but it was set in German. Ruth also said that in the November 2017 conversation with the mobile trader, she was told she could not change the products.



We had conflicting versions of events from Ruth and the mobile trader. From reviewing the mobile trader’s file, we could see that it had sent Ruth a phone. The mobile trader had also refunded Ruth the difference between the phone’s value, and the amount she had paid the mobile trader.

Ruth was prepared to keep the phone she had, but wanted the language changed to English. Ruth asked family members who knew a lot about phones to try and change the language, but even they could not figure out how to change the settings.

By this stage, the complaint had moved away from being one about a financial service, into being a complaint about a product (the phone). However, we asked the mobile trader whether it was possible to have a representative attend at Ruth’s home to see whether the phone could be set in English.

Alternatively, we asked the mobile trader to simply send Ruth the same phone, but set in English. We said Ruth would have expected to receive a phone set in English.



The mobile trader called Ruth and was able to help her change the phone’s language from German to English. This resolved the complaint.


Insights for participants

This complaint did not need to come to FSCL. All that was required was for a mobile trader staff member to actually speak to Ruth, and take the time to understand the problem. Once the call was made, the complaint was quickly resolved.