She decided to buy the goods on hire purchase since she didn’t have enough cash. The total value of the goods was R3 004,88. She was asked to sign many documents for her purchases and when she finally left the store, she found that she owed them R6 468,89. At home she unpacked all the paperwork with the help of her employer Mrs Van Zyl who discovered that she was also sold a credit life policy, a warranty and a goods insurance policy and she was charged contract fees.
With the help of her employer, Gumede lodged a complaint with the FAIS Ombud. In his determination, the then FAIS Ombud, Charles Pillai, found a number of shortcomings in Barnetts’ dealings with Gumede. The first was that the Terms and Conditions a three-page document was not present when Gumede signed the Schedule to the Loan Agreement. Pillai noted that on Gumede’s version of the documents the agreement was incomplete at point of sale.
There were also serious mistakes with a number of the documents Gumede signed. The Extended Guarantee Contract was not properly completed with important fields left blank. The Ombud found the Extended Guarantee Contract invalid. It was found that Gumede was also charged a R348 60 delivery charge when she had collected the goods from the store herself. Gumede won the case and the money was refunded to her.