CLEAR: Lewis Stores
The National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) yesterday handed down judgement in favour of Lewis Stores, dismissing an application by the National Credit Regulator (NCR) against Lewis in relation to the charging of club fees and extended warranties to customers.

This comes after the NCR referred Lewis to the Tribunal in April last year, alleging the group was in breach of the National Credit Act as a result of charging consumers a club fee on credit agreements since 2007.

The NCR alleged that the maintenance costs and club fees were charged to customers in contravention of the credit act and requested the Tribunal to order Lewis Stores to repay the maintenance costs and club fees to customers.

The NCR further requested the Tribunal restrains Lewis from charging maintenance costs and club fees, and that the store be fined 10% of its annual profits.

The NCT found that the club fees charged by Lewis do not form part of the cost of credit of any credit agreement between Lewis and its customers.

It also ruled that the National Credit Act allows Lewis to include the cost of an extended warranty in its credit agreements and does not prescribe the terms and conditions of such extended warranty offered by Lewis to its customers.

Johan Enslin, chief executive of the Lewis Group, welcomed the NCT’s ruling saying it confirmed the group’s commitment to responsible credit practices and regulatory compliance.