Thousands of rands allegedly swindled in online transactions, months gone without tyre orders being delivered and no response from the supplier to a growing list of angry customers.
This is the saga of Tyres.co.za – an online-based “tyre supplier” – being probed by the National Consumer Commission (NCC).
The catalogue of complaints against Tyres.co.za and its founder and CEO Thomas Rundle has grown so long, customers have taken to social media to express their frustration. Knysna pensioner Alistair Gibb allegedly lost R19,000.
Attempts by The Citizen to reach Rundle on his cellphone yesterday were unsuccessful, as he did not answer our calls.
Gibb plans to lay a criminal complaint of fraud against Rundle, if tyres he ordered almost four months ago are not delivered by today. It all began when Gibb ordered a set of tyres from Tyres.co.za in March.
“You can be fooled by seeing the company’s impressive website on Google, list of tyres, sizes and the low prices.
“At the time I was so enticed and paid – not knowing that I was being conned. Rundle, who operates on SMS, promised delivery of the tyres in a week’s time after I made the payment of R19,000.”
What followed, he said, were many excuses from Rundle. “At some stage he promised to source the tyres from a Cape Town company, which turned out to be a courier. He is not interested in paying back my money, which I transferred via my credit card.
“In a country with laws against fraud, this man should not be allowed to operate. For months, I have not been able to drive my Ferrari on a daily basis for fear of the tyres being worn out.”
Several online posts by customers corroborated Gibb’s version of the workings of Tyres.co.za.
“No tyres, no refund and lots of empty promises,” read one post.
“I ordered and paid the amount of R12,796.00 for four tyres at Tyres. co.za on 8 April 2021 – order number 5452. As you can see, it is now 14 months later and all I received were empty promises daily.
“COD [cash on delivery] tomorrow, worst case 31 May 2022, will do payment today, was how the CEO promised.”
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Another client said: “I purchased six BF Goodrich tyres from Tyres.co.za on 17 March 2022. Since then, nothing has been delivered other than one excuse after another. Every communication is just another promise for payment ‘tomorrow’.”
Another customer, who placed an order for five tyres with the delivery date set for 26 June 2021, said: “On 25 June 2021, I received the first WhatsApp message from Thomas Rundle, with a profuse apology that they will not be able to deliver on this date and we agreed to postpone delivery.
“I have since had multiple excuses for non-delivery. Furthermore, I have even offered to collect the tyres and that seems not to be possible. After multiple WhatsApp discussions with endless requests to postpone delivery, I have had to purchase the required tyres elsewhere.
“Then, the battle to get the refund started, which to this day I have not received – despite follow-ups and emails that were never responded to.
“I will now follow the small claims legal procedure, which seems to be quite simple, as I see no other way of getting my refund for the undelivered tyres.”
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