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Bad service #HumanRights

By: Natasha Archary 



We’ve all been there, you’re stuck in a never-ending queue and when it’s finally your turn, the teller is off to lunch. Government offices, license centres, shopping stores, there’s no difference really. South Africans are not known for our impeccable customer service skills.


As a customer/paying patron how do you handle the situation? Sure, you can demand to speak to the manager, chances are you will receive the same lacklustre approach his staff gave you. But then you think, nah in the age of digital innovation and social media, I’ll just snap the rude teller’s picture and share my rant on Twitter.


That seems to be the best way to get a response from brands these days right? While not entirely untrue, it may not be the best approach. Many choose to not get confrontational in public, there are a select few who do, so how do you handle situations where bad service becomes the norm?


Know your rights


We touched on the Consumer Protection Act in our previous post Returns policies: What you need to know  , but there are a few blurry lines that you should be weary off.


  • The customer is always right only applies if you are, actually right. If you are being obnoxiously rude to waiting staff, tellers, customer service representatives, the store manager etc… the manager has a right to intervene and ask you to politely leave or resolve the issue in a calm and respectable manner.
  • As a paying customer you have a right to return a product or meal if you are not entirely satisfied but you do not have the right to demand that it be on the house for terrible customer service.
  • So you received bad service from waiting staff and decide you will not be tipping. It’s not their fault the kitchen was overbooked and your order took a little longer. If you wish to lodge a complaint with the manager do so, it’s his responsibility to apologise and use his/her discretion to give you a complimentary dessert or percentage off your bill. But you should not take it out on your waiter/waitress.
  • Using profanity make get you noticed but it does not get you the desired outcome. Chances are you’ll be taken seriously if you expressed your disappointment in a calm manner. People respect your ability to maintain a sense of self in tense scenarios.
  • You can always walk away and send an email addressed to either the head office of that brand or the manager for a resolution to the problem you faced in-store.
  • If you had your heart set on a special that was running but stocks are no longer available, you have a right to request a “rain-check”. This means the store will have to order you the same product and give it to you at the special price, regardless of how long it takes. Even after the store special ends.
  • You do not have to disclose your personal information to staff or the manager if you do not want to. You can always request their details and take the matter further if the issue is not being resolved to your liking.
  • Sure we all love watching these trending videos of in-store outbursts, but it’s such a violation of privacy on all parties involved in the incident and on the video. Do you have to be that person?
  • You have every right to take to social media expressing your concerns but you do not have the right to broadcast someone’s picture without their permission. It’s a human rights’ violation. Surely you wouldn’t want to be exposed in that way?
  • You have a right to take your business elsewhere. You’re not bound by a contract to spend your hard-earned cash at a store, restaurant, cinema house , theme park etc that you are not comfortable with. Whatever the reason may be for your disappointment, take your business somewhere else.


Nothing gets one worked up more than bad customer service. In a country that grapples with service delivery, we have little patience for arrogant staff no doubt. If you are at the receiving end of racist or demeaning remarks, mothers who are asked to breastfeed in public, parents with rowdy kids being asked to leave an establishment etc. you are free to lodge a formal complaint with the human rights commission. For more serious situations it’s always best to take this stance (aka: the higher ground).


Written by: Natasha


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Privacy Policy


POPIA ActTo promote the protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies; to introduce certain conditions so as to establish minimum requirements for the processing of personal information; to provide for the establishment of an Information Regulator to exercise certain powers and to perform certain duties and functions in terms of this Act and the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000; to provide for the issuing of codes of conduct; to provide for the rights of persons regarding unsolicited electronic communications and automated decision making; to regulate the flow of personal information across the borders of the Republic; and to provide for matters connected therewith.


  • section 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, provides that everyone has the right to privacy;
  • the right to privacy includes a right to protection against the unlawful collection, retention, dissemination and use of personal information;
  • the State must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights;


  • consonant with the constitutional values of democracy and openness, the need for economic and social progress, within the framework of the information society, requires the removal of unnecessary impediments to the free flow of information, including personal information;


  • regulate, in harmony with international standards, the processing of personal information by public and private bodies in a manner that gives effect to the right to privacy subject to justifiable limitations that are aimed at protecting other rights and important interests,
  1. Definitions and Interpretation

1.1.“Personal Information” means information relating to an identifiable, living, natural person and where it is applicable, identifiable, existing juristic person, including all information as defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013. 

1.2  Parliament assented to POPIA on 19 November 2013. The commencement date of section 1Part A of Chapter 5section 112 and section 113 was 11 April 2014. The commencement date of the other sections was 1 July 2020 (with the exception of section 110 and 114(4). The President of South Africa has proclaimed the POPI commencement date to be 1 July 2020.

1.3. “Processing” means the creation, generation, communication, storage, destruction of personal information as more fully defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013.  

1.4. “You” or the “user” means any person who accesses and browses this website for any purpose. 

1.4. “Website” means the website of the KAYA 959 at URL or such other URL as KAYA 959 may choose from time to time.   

  1. Status and Amendments

2.1. KAYA 959 respects your privacy. This privacy policy statement sets out KAYA 959’s information gathering and dissemination practices in respect of the Website. 

2.2. This Privacy Policy governs the processing of personal information provided to KAYA 959 through your use of the Website. 

2.3. Please note that, due to legal and other developments, KAYA 959 may amend these terms and conditions from time to time.  

  1. Processing of Personal Information

3.1. By providing your personal information to KAYA 959 you acknowledge that it has been collected directly from you and consent to its processing by KAYA 959. 

3.2. Where you submit Personal Information (such as name, address, telephone number and email address) via the website (e.g. through completing any online form) the following principles are observed in the processing of that information: 

3.2.1. KAYA 959 will only collect personal information for a purpose consistent with the purpose for which it is required. The specific purpose for which information is 
collected will be apparent from the context in which it is requested. 

3.2.2. KAYA 959 will only process personal information in a manner that is adequate, relevant and not excessive in the context of the purpose for which it is processed. 

3.2.3. Personal information will only be processed for a purpose compatible with that for which it was collected, unless you have agreed to an alternative purpose in writing or KAYA 959 is permitted in terms of national legislation of general application dealing primarily with the protection of personal information. 

3.2.4. KAYA 959 will keep records of all personal Information collected and the specific purpose for which it was collected for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 

3.2.5. KAYA 959 will not disclose any personal information relating to you to any third party unless your prior written agreement is obtained or KAYA 959 is required to do so by law. 

3.2.6. If personal information is released with your consent KAYA 959 will retain a record of the information released, the third party to which it was released, the reason for the release and the date of release, for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 

3.2.7. KAYA 959 will destroy or delete any personal information that is no longer needed by KAYA 959 for the purpose it was initially collected, or subsequently processed. 

3.3. Note that, as permitted by the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002, KAYA 959 may use personal information collected to compile profiles for statistical purposes. No information contained in the profiles or statistics will be able to be linked to any specific user.    

  1. Collection of anonymous data

4.1. KAYA 959 may use standard technology to collect information about the use of this website. This technology is not able to identify individual users but simply allows KAYA 959 to collect statistics. 

4.2. KAYA 959 may utilise temporary or session cookies to keep track of users’ browsing habits. A cookie is a small file that is placed on your hard drive in order to keep a record of your interaction with this website and facilitate user convenience. 

4.2.1. Cookies by themselves will not be used to identify users personally but may be used to compile identified statistics relating to use of services offered or to provide KAYA 959 with feedback on the performance of this website. 

4.2.2. The following classes of information may be collected in respect of users who have enabled cookies: The browser software used; IP address; Date and time of activities while visiting the website; URLs of internal pages visited; and referrers. 

4.3. If you do not wish cookies to be employed to customize your interaction with this website it is possible to alter the manner in which your browser handles cookies. Please note that, if this is done, certain services on this website may not be available. 

  1. Security

5.1. KAYA 959 takes reasonable measures to ensure the security and integrity of information submitted to or collected by this website, but cannot under any circumstances be held liable for any loss or other damage sustained by you as a result of unlawful access to or dissemination of any personal information by a third party. 

  1. Links to other websites

6.1. KAYA 959 has no control over and accepts no responsibility for the privacy practices of any third party websites to which hyperlinks may have been provided and KAYA 959 strongly recommends that you review the privacy policy of any website you visit before using it further. 

  1. Queries

7.1. If you have any queries about this privacy policy please contact us by emailing [email protected]