SON COMMENDED FOR PROMPT RESPONSE TO CUSTOMER COMPLAINT

On Monday, 9 January, 2017, I visited the sales outlet of Richtone Technology Ltd, at 186 Ikorodu Road, Onipanu, and negotiated with the sales assistant and her boss (Mr. Jude, who was not at the store at the time) in respect of 32 pieces of 200 AH deep cycle inverter batteries. We spoke to Mr. Jude on the phone to give us a price and subsequent discount. At that point I informed Mr. Jude that I would be testing the batteries before accepting them, and he assured me it wouldn’t be a problem. Having settled on the price of =N=127,500 I instructed my bank (Stanbic-IBTC) to effect an instant transfer of =N=4,080,000.00 to the account of the company (0021707048 Diamond Bank). Mr. Jude confirmed receipt of my funds into his bank account some time around 3:00 pm, and informed me on the phone that he would convey the batteries to my Van, which was parked at his office all the while.

I receive a call from my driver sometime around 5:30 pm that Mr. Jude had requested that his sales assistant accompany him to pickup the batteries at “their warehouse” in Ladipo market area. After the batteries were loaded but before leaving the warehouse premises, my technician – Mr. Tunde Onifade, went to the warehouse and tested several of the batteries loaded in my van and found that they were each less than 30% of the listed “200AH” written on them.

At this point I instructed my driver and technician to return the batteries, but I was told that we would have to accept the batteries and that there was no room for us to return them. I phoned Mr. Jude and after several minutes of argument he refused to allow my driver to offload the batteries and he gave instructions that my van could not leave the warehouse premises unless the batteries are accepted. I subsequently asked my driver to lock the van and go home so as to mitigate the risk of any bodily harm to him at the warehouse.

The following day, Tuesday, 10 January, 2017, I searched on the internet for the Standards Organisation of Nigeria website and located contact numbers, which I called and spoke to Mrs. Tosan Akin-Akosile. After listening to my complaint, she informed me that she would consult with her superiors and revert with next steps. Within an hour I received a phone call from Mrs. Akosile, inviting me to the SON office in Lekki, from where I was escorted with a contingent of enforcement officials, SON technical staff and even a camera man, to the warehouse.

Upon getting to the warehouse, the SON officials identified a large consignment of assorted imported batteries, generators, water pumps, etc. While on site several spot tests were carried out on the various inverter batteries identified 100 AH, 150 AH and 200 AH. It was noted that all of the batteries tested fell far below the listed AH capacities. Also, the warehouse manager on site was unable to provide the requisite SON certification documentation.

Consequently, the 3 warehouses in the complex were sealed by the SON enforcement team, my van was released to my driver and we were all asked to report to the SON office in Lekki the following day at 10:00 am.

All parties met in Mrs. Akosile’s office at the SON regional office in Lekki sometime around 11:30 am on Wednesday, 11  January, 2017. During the course of this meeting I received a credit alert from my bank informing me that Interswatik had refunded the full amount of the money I had previously transferred to Richtone Technology Ltd. I subsequently left the company officials in the hands of the SON staff to sort out their compliance issues.

Conclusion

As a result of the timely intervention of the SON team led by Mrs. Tosan Akin Akosile and Alhaji Isah, I was able to secure the release of my impounded van as well as recover the funds I had paid to Richtone Technology Ltd, in full. I would therefore like to thank and commend SON and its indefatigable staff for the crucial work being done to crack down on the importation, sale and circulation of substandard products to hapless Nigerians.

 

Yours faithfully,

Ayodele A. Adeboye