BCCSA dismisses Carte Blanche appeal

2012-10-05 13:21
Cape Town - Current affairs programme Carte Blanche has failed in its appeal of a ruling on a report it did on a power-saving device, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) said on Friday.

Deputy tribunal chairperson Henning Viljoen upheld a ruling made in April that the Electro Smart device was overwhelmingly portrayed as a "rip off and illegality" on the M-Net channel.

He said the tribunal had been correct in finding the show's producer had not made a serious attempt to balance opinions on the product.

The programme did, however, come off with a lighter sanction in its appeal.

It was reprimanded for its actions, rather than being ordered to air the BCCSA's findings.

Device's effectiveness called into question

The ruling in April came after Sprigg Investments laid complaints that the nature and effectiveness of the Electro Smart device had been called into question following the airing of the programme. Electro Smart is marketed as a power-saving device which controls geysers.

In the broadcast, Carte Blanche interviewed electrical technician Raoul Coetzee, who implied the device was a mere timer and a "rip-off".

Sprigg responded by saying its explanation of why the device was not a timer was not broadcast, and it had never had the opportunity to respond to the allegations.

An independent report by Sedick Arnold, an authority on the device, had also not been aired.

The programme erred in reporting on an SA Bureau of Standards report which approved a device "almost identical" to the Electro Smart.

The tribunal found that omitting certain information had prevented the public from making an objective decision on the device.

Carte Blanche airs on M-Net (DStv channel 101) on Sundays at 19:00.


  • leon.vanderlinde.14 - 2012-10-05 13:57

    Bought two of them under previous name. Owner disappeared and started company under new nameand new product name.Still the same junk. No support. Was a real ripoff. Bought 2 X Geyserwise. Best move. Wonderful support.

  • sycomachinery - 2012-10-05 14:09

    If this device works, your geysers insulation is no good.

  • anakin.skyvader.9 - 2012-10-05 14:17

    Carte Blanche on a Sunday eve really sucks (only my personal opinion-don't sue me..) - we have stopped watching Carte Blanche from 3x months ago and don't miss it at all, the show has become too depressing to watch, esp. for a Sunday, as if we are not already depressed and peeved enough after reading the Sunday newspapers and watching all the negative news. Please move it to another timeslot like 2am (when nobody would want to watch it).

      sanda.mnyazi - 2012-10-05 14:42

      I agree with you wholeheartedly

      brian.exmachina - 2012-10-05 17:02

      Yes, because we all want to watch what you want to watch when you want to watch it.

  • pat.aldrich.96 - 2012-10-05 14:37

    Not only a rip off but it is a scam. They visit you late a night with young girls with soppy stories. Be careful

  • richard.young.1253236 - 2012-10-05 14:46

    So what does the Electro Smart actually do?

      philip.vde - 2012-10-05 14:49

      seems nobody knows !!

  • comurray - 2012-10-05 15:12

    These devices are normally programmed by the owner to switch the geyser off during the day while owners are away or at work then switch on a few hours before hot water is required. Personally I can't see how they save electricity because by the time hot water is required the water withing the geyser has become cold and takes a lot of electricity to heat it up to the required preset temperature.

  • comurray - 2012-10-05 15:18

    I forgot to mention that they don't come cheap. In fact to recoup the outlay cost for the device in electricity savings will take quite a period of time. This is only my personal experience as I don't know the particular device mentioned.

      beverly.young3 - 2012-10-05 15:47

      I am not sure of the device we had installed in both our geysers, but after a 3 month stint, we saw the savings. Works for us. Costs? like R700 per I think....stands to reason, if you keep using the hot water, the geyser fills up with cold and has to re-heat. Now, all you do is use up hot water, and when the switch comes alive, it only takes an hour to warm up. I say thumbs up for the device.

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-10-05 17:09

    If these gimmicks work so well then why are they not just standard part of a geyser? Would make sense.

  • malcolm.stevens.129 - 2012-10-09 12:03

    I did some googling on this device and company and there are * sooooooo * many complaints it's frightening. It seems that the complaints are similar: People bought the device, did not get the savings they were promised, tried to invoke a contract clause to return the device and get their money back all without success. It seems that this is followed by people getting blacklisted and harrassed. Scary stuff. Sounds like the product is a sham and the company a right dodgy one.

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