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Edcon to appeal consumer tribunal judgment on club fees

The tribunal ruled that the monthly club fee the group charged to its credit customers is unlawful and in contravention of the National Credit Act.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Edcon Group, which owns retail store Edgars, says it will appeal today's judgment by the National Consumer Tribunal which disallows the company from charging club fees for its customers.

Edcon was referred to the tribunal by the National Credit Regulator which found that the retailer unlawfully charged its customers club fees.

The tribunal ruled that the monthly club fee the group charged to its credit customers is unlawful and in contravention of the National Credit Act.

The National Credit Regulator says it initiated an investigation against Edcon after information from various sources gave reasonable suspicion that there were contraventions.

The regulator's Jacqueline Peters says the judgment is a victory for consumers.

“As the regulator we believe that the National Credit Act was drafted in a way that brings clarity within the industry.”

However, the retail group has released a statement saying it has noted the tribunal's judgment and it is now in the process of studying it and will appeal the order.

The retailer says it’s always contended that the club product is a stand-alone one which entitles voluntarily signed-up from members to a number of benefits including preferential rates and savings with many of their affinity partners.

The National Credit Regulator could not specify how much Edcon was unlawfully charging its customers, saying this will be established at a later stage.